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1797; 1973–1983 restored. 3311 Littlestown Pike
  • (Lisa Pfueller Davidson and Catherine C. Lavoie)
  • (HABS)

A joint venture or “union” between brothers Andrew and David Shriver, Union Mills was the first industrial complex in the region and remains today one of the best preserved and documented. A self-sufficient enterprise situated along a main road between Baltimore and Pennsylvania, it encompassed a farm, house, saw- and gristmills, a tannery, and cooper, blacksmith, and wheelwright shops. The log, dogtrot house was built by Pennsylvania carpenter-joiner Henry Kohlstock to comprise two, two-story sections of a single room per floor—one section for each brother—connected by an open central passage and front porch. As the families grew, the house expanded to encompass twenty-three rooms that included a store, school, tavern, and post office.

The imposing mill is erected of bricks made on site, under the direction of millwright John Mong following the innovative, production-line system developed by Oliver Evans in 1784. After six generations of ownership, in 1964 the Shriver family formed the Union Mills Homestead Foundation, creating a museum of American rural culture. It was acquired by the county in 1970 and restored, returning the old mill to working order in 1983.

Writing Credits

Lisa Pfueller Davidson and Catherine C. Lavoie



  • 1797

  • 1970

    County acquires site
  • 1983


What's Nearby


Lisa Pfueller Davidson and Catherine C. Lavoie, "UNION MILLS HOMESTEAD", [Westminster, Maryland], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Maryland, Lisa Pfueller Davidson and Catherine C. Lavoie. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2022, 261-261.

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