Mills in the Coastal Plain depended upon artificial ponds to provide a fall of water. A mill was first built on a dammed creek here in 1801–1802, and its foundations evidently support the current, two-story wooden facility, which Ainsworth Abbott operated starting in 1919. An unusual amount of milling equipment survives inside, from cloth chutes to carry grain from floor to floor to the diesel engine Abbott installed to run the facility when the pond was low. The state bought the property in 1963 and restored several structures, including the Gothic Revival miller's house (1905). Delaware Nature Society operates a solar-powered environmental education center (1986, Homsey Architects). One can canoe the millpond, visit a garden that models backyard wildlife habitat, or stroll along a boardwalk through a dark, mosquitorich Sussex County swamp downstream from the dam.
You are here
Abbott's Mill Nature Center
If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.
SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.