Located in Mill Point, West Virginia, McNeel Mill operated between 1865 and 1945. The building has been restored and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


History

The first mill along Stomping Creek was constructed by Valentine Cackley and his brother John who had moved from Philadelphia in 1778.1 The Cackley Mill, fed from a spring on McNeel Run, was the area’s first gristmill. In 1808, a sawing apparatus was added.

The Cackley family later sold their mill to Sampson Matthews who then sold the land the mill was on to Isaac McNeel. Isaac McNeel erected a new mill downstream from the original mill just before the Civil War in 1861, although it was not finished until after the war had ceased in 1865.1 Similar to the Cackley mill, it grinded cornmeal, cracked corn, and buckwheat. The Cackley Mill was later operated by the Hogsett family who installed a wool-carding machine for making wool yard and batting for quilts.

A large steel water wheel was added in 1921, replacing the original wooden water wheel.2 Power was supplemented by an engine house that provided power during times of low water flow.

Mill Creek by the 1930’s was a thriving community with not only a mill, but a blacksmith, power office, and general store. A lumber railroad once ran adjacent to McNeel’s mill that connected the Warn Lumber Company with virgin timber stands on Cranberry Mountain.2

Decline

In 1935, a flash flood nearly washed out the platform that held the millstones at McNeel Mill.1 The flood damaged Stamping Creek and made channeling water through the wheel difficult, and had also damaged the original mill constructed by Cackley, which collapsed in 1936.

Owing to more modern operations elsewhere, McNeels Mill closed in 1941.1

McNeels Mill was added to the National Register of Historic Places on September 9, 1985.1 The complex was later restored with the help of the Pocahontas County Historical Society and the state’s Division of Culture and History.2 A new water wheel was installed and structural repairs were completed to the building.

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