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Colvin Run Mill

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c. 1820, attributed to Philip Carper. 1969, restoration, E. Blaine Cliver. 10017 Colvin Run Rd. (intersection of Leesburg Pk. [U.S. 7] and Colvin Run Rd.), Great Falls. Open to the public
  • Colvin Run Mill (Virginia Division of Historic Resources)
  • Colvin Run Mill (National Historic Landmarks/National Park Service)
  • Colvin Run Mill (National Historic Landmarks/National Park Service)

Although local tradition holds that a mill was established here in 1794, the present mill dates from c. 1820 and was related to the construction of the Alexandria-Leesburg Pike. The mill—which has gone under several names—was a custom or merchant's mill which ground grain commercially and stored both grain and flour. It was in operation through the 1930s. The exterior walls are laid up in common or American bond; however, the brick is smaller than average, so replacement bricks must be made by hand. On the interior are corner fireplaces on the first and second levels. The restored machinery, based on the mechanized process invented by Oliver Evans, uses three pairs of stones for the grinding. Also on the property is the mill owner's house, a two-story brick I-house (c. 1820), and a general store (c. 1900). The complex also includes a former ironworks that houses displays of early technology. Farther up Colvin Run Road is a vast subdivision of tract “McMansions.”

Writing Credits

Richard Guy Wilson et al.


What's Nearby


Richard Guy Wilson et al., "Colvin Run Mill", [Great Falls, Virginia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Virginia: Tidewater and Piedmont, Richard Guy Wilson and contributors. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002, 57-58.

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