Durham Gristmill Restoration

In 2017, the Durham Historic Society began efforts to restore a unique historic landmark that will mark its 200th anniversary in 2020.

Built in 1820 by Judge William Long and his wife Jane, the three-story Durham Mill is located on the foundation of the original Durham blast furnace. A warehouse portion was added in 1912 using recycled bricks from the second Durham Furnace nearby. For 147 years the mill operated continuously, producing flour and grinding feed, until it closed in 1967.

Today the Mill attracts tourists interested in its part in the history of the United States (Easton Express, 1967). It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and also houses the nation’s second-oldest post office. Described by the Philadelphia Inquirer as “the centerpiece of the village,” the Mill is owned by Durham Township. Once renovations are completed, the township may consider plans to offer it as a venue for cultural, educational and recreational events.

WHERE WE ARE TODAY:

Thanks to local and national support, we are making progress in our restoration efforts. The cleanup of the tail race was completed in fall 2018. We are now laying plans for replanting native species grasses there. Work has also begun on making the Mill structure more ADA compliant, including an ADA approved restroom.

Other current initiatives include evaluating proposals for window replacements and engaging the services of an engineer to assess what needs to be done to stabilize the metal walkway around the Mill’s water wheel.

HOW YOU CAN HELP:

So far, the society has raised a portion of its goal, but we are grateful for any and all contributions. To make a donation, please CLICK HERE. You may choose to donate to the Mill restoration fund, become a member of DHS, or both. You can also contribute through our Go Fund Me site.

For more information or to get involved with our efforts, please email us at info@durhamhistoricalsociety.org.

25-minute Mill tour video with  former employee Ron Fox.
Play Video
Slide show of Mill works
Photos © by Miana Jun