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Maryland's National Register Properties

Photo credit: Chad R. Shrodes, 04/2002
Jerusalem Mill Village
Inventory No.: HA-1745
Date Listed: 8/20/1987
Location: Jerusalem Road and Jericho Road, Joppa, Harford County
Category: District
Period/Date of Construction: 1772-1886
Architect/Builder: Architect: David Lee and others
Resources: 14 (12 contributing, 1 non-contributing)
Description: Jerusalem Mill Village is located on the Harford County side of the Little Gunpowder Falls, at the stream's fall line, about 5 miles northeast of Kingsville. The village is at the intersection of Jerusalem and Jericho roads; part of the historic area is within the jurisdiction of the Gunpowder Park. The village consists of 12 historic standing structures, all centered on the once-flourishing Jerusalem Mill, built in 1772. These stone or stone and frame vernacular structures, irregularly placed on large lots and shaded by aged oaks and pines, together form a rare example of a complete and self-sufficient rural industrial community that had its beginnings with the American advent of the industrial revolution. The entire village--consisting of mill, miller's house, domestic outbuildings, supporting sawmill, coopershop, blacksmith shop, mill worker's house, farmhouse, and general store/post office--was essentially in place by 1814 when David Lee I, the then-owner, was assessed for 7 buildings (6 of the 7 still standing); all others were added by 1880. Remarkably, no permanent structures except for a mid 20th century bridge on Jerusalem Road at the Little Gunpowder Falls, have been added since the Lees left in 1886. Significance: The Jerusalem Mill Village developed around the 1772 Jerusalem Mill (the oldest extant mill in Harford and Baltimore Counties), and is one of the oldest, most complete, and least altered mill villages in Maryland. It's the only extant representation of the early industrial development of the Little Gunpowder Falls, a river which figures prominently in the development of Harford and Baltimore Counties, and was once almost literally lined with similar early industrial operations. Owned and operated by a single family, the Lees, for 100 years and largely in place by 1814, the village offers a locally unique--and rare anywhere--look at an intact, self-sufficient industrial proto-"company town" dating to the time when America was first being transformed by the Industrial Revolution. The Lee family sold the mill in 1886, marking the end of the historic significance of the village. By that date, however, the village was intact, for no structures have been added since. Moreover, the village's layout is a reminder to modern sensibilities of the sophistication of colonial and early Federal period millers and millwrights, who, with the possible exception of ironmasters, had the most advanced technical and mechanical backgrounds of their era. The mill's location was chosen for the fall of the stream; blacksmith and cooper shops and a sawmill were placed conveniently close by; the miller's dwelling was close enough to it all so he could keep aware of what was going on but far enough away to be free of most of the clamor; the community store was perched at the village's only intersection to draw pedestrian and vehicular trade from the entire area; the farmer's house and barn were on the outskirts of the village, near his fields; even the placement of bridges suggests a dynamically practical ordering of site and function among the village's components. Jerusalem Mill is one of the best, most intact examples of mill architecture and mill village layout of its era.

District Resources (14) (12 contributing, 1 non-contributing)

From associated listing in National Register nomination form. C = Contributing, NC = non-contributing, blank = not evaluated.

AddressStatusResource Name and MIHP (if any)
2813 Jerusalem RoadCHA-433 -- Jerusalem Mill
Jerusalem RoadCHA-431 -- Jerusalem House
Jerusalem RoadCHA-432 -- Jerusalem Farm (Pullen-Lee Springhouse)
Jericho RoadCHA-437 -- Jerusalem Stone Barn
2805 Jerusalem RoadCHA-430 -- Jerusalem Farm House
Jerusalem RoadCHA-434 -- Jerusalem Mill Miller's House
Jericho Road over Little Gunpowder FallsCHA-438 -- Jerusalem Covered Bridge (Franklinville Road Bridge #4)
Jerusalem RoadCHA-435 -- Jerusalem Mill Blacksmith's Shop
Jerusalem RoadCHA-429 -- McCourtney's General Store
2809 Jerusalem RoadCHA-487 -- Jerusalem-Railey House (Railey House)
2811 Jerusalem RoadCHA-488 -- Jerusalem-Railey Tenant House (James T. Steele House)
 CSpring House
Jerusalem Road HA-436 -- Jerusalem Mill Historic Marker


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