Friday, July 27, 2007


Pierce Mill at Beach Drive and Tilden Road NW.
This view includes the side that would have housed the waterwheel.

Rock Creek at Pierce Mill.

Sometimes, instead of going through town to get home from work, I'll go a little out of my way and take Rock Creek Parkway. At the intersection of Beach Drive and Park/Tilden Roads is Pierce Mill.

According to a National Park Service plaque in front of the mill, Pierce Mill was "the last of several grain mills operating on Rock Creek during an era when most American mills derived their power from small streams. Located near an Indian site, the land was conveyed to Isaac Pierce by the Revolutionary patriot William Deakins in 1794. [The] mill was built about 1820 by Isaac and Abner Pierce, inherited by a nephew, Shoemaker Pierce, in 1851, and operated until 1897. Purchased by the Federal Government in 1890 and restored by the National Park Service in 1936."

Recently, the NPS replaced the roof on the building. At one time, there was a waterwheel on the side of the building--you can still see the trench that fed the water from the creek to the wheel, which turned the stones that ground the grain into flour--but none exists now. I don't know if the NPS is planning to rebuild it or if they're refurbishing it or what.

Photo copyright: D.C. Confidential (Janet M Kincaid, 07/07)

No comments: