Water-powered gristmills of Union County, Pennsylvania
The Union County Historical Society website states:
In this newest Heritage book, Volume XXIV, 2014, authors, Thomas P. Rich and David W. Del Testa, documented the history of the water-powered gristmills that once populated the valleys of the Buffalo, Penns, White Deer and White Deer Hole Creeks. Water-powered gristmills were the key technology behind the development of the agriculturally-based Union County. The authors identified about forty such mills that operated in the period from 1770 until today. As a commemoration of the establishment of Union County in 1813, the new Heritage volume weaves the history of the county around the building and operation of these mills. It traces the roles played by the mills through the rapid growth of the county through the 1800s, and through the changing political and economic conditions of the 1900s.
Water-powered Gristmills of Union County, Pennsylvania highlights the one mill that has operated continuously and commercially through this entire period, what is known today as H&C Grove’s Mill. The authors outlined the role that the local mills played in the early, worldwide traingular trade between Europe, the Americas and Sub-Saharan Africa, The have placed the settlement of the region and its mills within the context of the growth and development of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. And the book translates the technologies of water-powered gristmills into common language that helps to show just how these mills operated.
Extensive deed searches resulted in complete lists of property ownership for most of the mills and will provide a great resource for families who have ancestors who built and ran the Union County mills. This 230-page volume provides a unique and valuable perspective on the history of Union County and the important part played by its water-powered gristmills. It gives new insights into the development of Union County and much of rural America.
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