10 November 2008

That's My World Volume IV-Tingler's Mill at Paint Bank, Virginia

More about Paint Bank Virginia and Tingler's Mill
Tingler's Mill has a long and varied history. As a present-day decorative fixture of Paint Bank, its presence makes a grand statement about revitalization and historic preservation. In the past, however, it was an important element of everyday life in the town of Paint Bank, Virginia, serving area farmers and residents as a source of grain and flour by grinding corn and wheat.
The grist mill sits on Potts Creek, on property originally owned by Revolutionary War hero Colonel William Preston. Preston was given the land grants in 1780 for his service in the war. Through Preston's children the property eventually passed to John H. Peyton, Preston's granddaughter's husband, in 1816.

While the unincorporated town was officially formed in 1851, the mill building itself was not built until 1863. Henry Tingler began a small water-powered operation to process corn, wheat and oats for local farmers. During the civil war Tingler was drafted into service by the Confederacy, but managed to return home by proclaiming that his services as a miller were more valuable than his services as a soldier. A Union sympathizer, after his return home he not only supplied food to the people in the area, but also gun powder to the fighting forces.

Tingler's daughter Molly married W. H. (Harve) Humphreys, who lived in a house near the present-day general store and worked the mill with Tingler. According to Humphreys's grandson, Watson Smith of New Castle, Humphreys wanted to keep the business in the family, and expand it to include making flour. Tingler could not read or write, so Humphreys provided the driving force behind the renovation. In 1897, Humphreys borrowed $10,000 and reworked the mechanics of the mill, tearing down the original building and starting over. The small grist mill became a manufacturing mill capable of large scale flour production. The building which stands today most likely is that second building, erected over the old foundation in 1897.
Humphreys bequeathed the mill to his son, Johnny Henry Humphreys, who operated the mill until 1952, when he sold it to Roy S. and Coral May Morse. Roy Morse sold the mill to David E. and Marcia Harrison a little over a decade later, in 1967. By this time, local residents say, government regulations on the mill had become so strict that operating it was no longer cost-effective.

From 1897 until 1971 the mill was known as "Humphreys Mill". In 1971, when the Harrisons sold the mill to A.J. and Dorothy W. Tingler, the mill became known as "Tingler's Mill". The Tinglers kept the mill in the family until 1993, when it was sold to Jonathan F. Fitzgerald with the stipulation that the mill continue to be called "Tingler's Mill". Fitzgerald sold the property to the Mulheren family, the present owners.

In 2004, the mill pond was revitalized and is now stocked with trout. Recently the entire exterior of the mill was restored, a new race was constructed and the big wheel is once again turning. Restoration of the inside of the building is on-going as the present owners continue to bring the mill back to its former beauty and function. In the future, they hope to add tours to view the machinery and to be able to have demonstrations of the complete milling process, from kernel to flour (borrowed from post posted by The Depot Lodge)
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Shannon said...

There is something about visiting a mill that makes you feel as though you've taken a step-back in time. Interesting story, thanks for sharing. :)

uncleawang said...

Thank You for viewing MyWorld.
You have a very interesting story and sharing the history of a mill.
Thank You..
Have a nice day.

Twisted Fencepost said...

Love the restored mill. I do hope they can follow through with their plans.
Thanks for visiting and for sharing!

fishing guy said...

Erin: What a neat historic building that has been saved.

Anonymous said...

Excellent! That's what MyWorld is about! Very informative with great images!
Cheers, Klaus

mannanan said...

I just love this meme as I'm learning something new each week. Thank you for the great photos of what looks a fantastic building certainly worth preserving.

2sweetnsaxy said...

Great post. Thanks for sharing this part of your world with us.

Jedediah said...

Thanks for the tour, very interesting post.

Arija said...

Amazing how such a historical structure has to pass from hand to hand for so many years to find an owner who brings it back to life again.
Thank you for this most interesting post.

Brit' Gal Sarah said...

Very interesting post and beautiful piccies

Louise said...

I love old mills. They are usually set in the pretties places, and this is definitely not exception! Thanks for sharing these terrific photos.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad they are thinking about adding tours to to view the machinery close up.

Very informative post. I like mills, never seen much of them though.

John said...

Great photos and informative post!

Thanks for visiting and for sharing.

Pernille said...

Oh, I wish I could see Virginia ones! I think it must be a beautiful place.

Interesting story and beautiful photos!

See you next week:)

Denise said...

Hi Erin, this was so interesting and you took lovely pictures. I enjoyed everything about this post. Thank you for sharing it.

chrome3d said...

Mills always have the best places by the water and they look so great too. Wonderful post.

Gill - That British Woman said...

that is really interesting and great photos as well.

Gill in Canada

The Tile Lady said...

This is a fascinating history of Tingler's Mill, and I enjoyed reading it! Your photographs are wonderful!

Jeremy said...

I am not sure if anyone is still following this blog, but I work at Paint Bank and just wanted to let you all know that the first floor with all of it's machinery is open every weekend from now until Christmas. So come on by.