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Maryland's National Register Properties

Photo credit: MHT File Photo, Undated Photo
Wye Mill
Inventory No.: QA-462, T-51
Other Name(s): Old Wye Mill, Wye Grist Mill
Date Listed: 4/9/1985
Location: Centreville Road (MD 213) & Wye Mills Road (MD 662) , Centreville Road (MD 213) & Wye Mills Road (MD 662), Wye Mills, Queen Annes County, Talbot County
Category: Building
Period/Date of Construction: mid 18th century
Description: Wye Mill, one of the earliest industrial sites on the Eastern Shore in continuous use, dates from the mid 18th century. It is a small frame waterpowered, grist mill, with an early-20th century 20' diameter iron overshot wheel, manufactured by the Fitz Water Wheel Company of Hanover, Pennsylvania. The wheel is located on the south side of the building and the mill is built on a bank so that the foundation on its west side is a full story. It is four bays long and two bays deep. Entrances are located on the east, north, and west elevations and the windows all have 6/6 sash. The shingle roof, siding, and foundation walls were renewed in 1953. The walls are covered with redwood siding replacing the 18th century cypress beveled siding (samples of which survive in the attic), and the wooden steps and stoop are reconstructions. A mill race runs from an earthen dam, installed in the 1950s by the Game and Inland Fish Commission, through a conduit wheel. The mill retains nearly all of its late-19th and early-20th century equipment including French burr stone, American midget roller mill, sifters, bolters, grain hoppers and flour cleaning machines. Wye Mill is virtually unchanged in its attempt to keep up with milling technology for the last 200 years with those parts of the machinery or building which were worn out, repaired, or replaced as efficient operation demanded. Significance: Wye Mill is significant for its association with the development of the grist milling industry on Maryland's Eastern Shore from the mid 18th century through the early years of the 20th. A grist mill has existed on this site since the 1680s; the present building, constructed in the mid 18th century, retains structural features characteristic of that period including tilted-false-plate roof construction and a Dutch batten door, and houses a virtual museum of 19th and early-20th century grist milling machinery reflecting the evolution of the industry, and of the structure, during more than 200 years of nearly continuous use. Wye Mill is the oldest grist mill on the Eastern Shore, and probably the oldest in the state of Maryland.


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