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Abbott's Mill Nature Center

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Late 19th century. Abbott's Pond Rd., 0.7 miles west of DE 36, southwest of Milford
  • (Dave Tabler)

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.

Writing Credits

W. Barksdale Maynard


What's Nearby


W. Barksdale Maynard, "Abbott's Mill Nature Center", [Milford, Delaware], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Delaware

Buildings of Delaware, W. Barksdale Maynard. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2008, 284-284.

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