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Willow Grove Mill

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1870s, 1904. 168 Stonyman Rd.
  • (Photograph by D Hughes)
  • (Photograph by D Hughes)
  • (Photograph by D Hughes)

Including its basement level, this mill is a five-story heavy timber-frame building on a stone foundation with red weatherboarded walls and a tall gambrel roof containing the top two floors. Six-over-six sash windows with white trim and shed-roofed awnings over several Dutch doors punctuate the exterior. A gabled office wing projects on one side, and the steel overshot waterwheel made by the Fitz Water Wheel Company of Hanover, Pennsylvania, remains in its stone-lined pit on the mill's north side. Machinery from the late 1800s and early 1900s survives, including a separator and bran duster, several stands of rolling mills, and flour packers. A log mill was established on the site in the late eighteenth century by Joseph Ruffner (the current mill's stone foundation may date from this previous building). The mill was rebuilt to its present size in the 1870s during the ownership of A. M. and Virginia Moore Henkel. In 1891, the mill, depicted as the Luray Milling Company on the Sanborn maps of Luray, was powered by a coal-fired boiler half the year and a water turbine supplied by pipes from an adjacent mill pond the other half of the year. In 1900, Claude R. Grove acquired the mill, renamed it the Willow Grove Milling Company, and upgraded much of the equipment, including the overshot waterwheel. The mill is virtually as Grove left it when he shut down operations about 1945.

Writing Credits

Anne Carter Lee


What's Nearby


Anne Carter Lee, "Willow Grove Mill", [Luray, Virginia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Virginia vol 2

Buildings of Virginia: Valley, Piedmont, Southside, and Southwest, Anne Carter Lee and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2015, 81-81.

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