What Are Some Things to Do at Colvin Run Mill?


Quick Answer

At Colvin Run Mill, located in Great Falls, Virginia, visitors can tour a fully restored 1811 water-powered mill and visit an old-fashioned general store to purchase stone-ground flour, grits and cornmeal. During the spring, fall and summer, Colvin Run Mill offers classes, musical performances, craft demonstrations and camps for children.

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Full Answer

The Colvin Run Mill Historic Site is operated by the Fairfax County Department of Parks and Recreation. The site includes the working restored gristmill with a 20-foot-diameter overshot waterwheel, the miller's house, a barn, a general store and a blacksmith forge. A millpond and a millrace, which brings water to the wheel, are also available.

The mill was in operation from 1811 until the 1930s, when it was abandoned. In the 1960s, Fairfax County purchased the property at the request of local residents. The museum first opened in 1972, and full restoration was completed in 2015. The restored mill is an example of an automated flour milling system designed by Oliver Evans (1755-1819) that significantly reduced the amount of manual labor needed to operate a mill.

As of 2015, Colvin Run Mill periodically offers public grain-grinding demonstrations with the mill in full operation. The mill produces enough output to stock the general store and several local restaurants.

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