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Late 18th century; 1840, c. 1880 renovations; 1956–1960 restored. 900 Wye Mills Rd.
  • (Lisa Pfueller Davidson and Catherine C. Lavoie)

This is the oldest frame gristmill on the Eastern Shore, if not in the state, reflecting an integral segment of the regional economy from the period of settlement into the twentieth century. Gristmills were first erected for local use, powered by wind or by the many rivers and streams along the Eastern Shore. As demand for wheat increased with the export trade during the late eighteenth century, so did gristmill construction. Wye Mill rests on the site of a c. 1671 mill erected by Edward Barrowclif that was owned for much of the eighteenth century by Edward Lloyd of Wye House.

The humble, one-and-a-half-story mill is of braced, heavy-timber frame construction covered with flush shiplap siding and a gable roof that exhibits innovative tilted false-plate joinery. Incorporating the pioneering milling technology developed by Oliver Evans, the mill was powered by an overshot wheel at the gable end and fed by a mill-race along the banked, rear elevation. In 1840, the framing was reinforced, and again c. 1880 and in the early twentieth century, reflecting two hundred years of milling technology. Wye Mill was purchased by the state in 1953 and deeded to Preservation Maryland in 1956. It underwent a four-year restoration and is now open as a museum.

Writing Credits

Lisa Pfueller Davidson and Catherine C. Lavoie



  • 1770

  • 1840

    Framing reinforced
  • 1880

  • 1956


What's Nearby


Lisa Pfueller Davidson and Catherine C. Lavoie, "WYE MILL", [Wye Mills, 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, 110-110.

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