JUNE 18: Explore the last silk mill in the U.S.

Explore the last silk mill in the United States on June 18.

It is not all too often that one is given the opportunity to have the chance to photograph something in its pristine condition, one without graffiti, disturbance and obsession. But this may be one of the last chances to do so, at least for the Klotz Throwing Company in western Maryland.

Closed back in 1957, Klotz was known as the last silk mill in the United States and remains in the same condition as the day it closed over fifty years ago, although with more wear and tear – and decay, mold and rust. It has been owned for the last 33 years by one individual, whose intent was to preserve and save the mill for future generations. But that time may be coming to a close.

The mill is in poor condition and needs major repairs to keep the building in a stable condition. The owner has been charging $75 per person for the privilege to photograph the mill, which I consider to be a small amount to pay considering what is required. Makeshift boards patch gaping holes in the floor, and supporting timber is in poor condition due to years of water damage. The owner has received an offer for an individual from Washington state to come in and salvage the mill – that is, unless some preservation organization steps in and helps obtain funding to stabilize the mill from further debasement. And for the last several decades, no realistic offers have come in to help save the mill, so scrapping it may be the only option remaining.

Save the date: June 18. Help preserve the mill by coming out and photographing the mill. A minimum of five persons is required for the excursion, which is a “go where you want” event. A minimum $75 payment is required to access the property, which goes to help save the mill from becoming part of the scrap heap in a landfill.


  • When: June 18, 2011, 9 AM
  • Where: Klotz Throwing Company, +39.57238, -78.97429 at Google Maps
  • Fee: $75 per person, cash accepted
  • Who: YOU. Photographers, historians, architects, anyone with a vested interest in saving the last silk mill in the United States.


  • Call Sherman Cahal at 513-432-4267, or e-mail shermancahal@gmail.com for more information.
  • Click through to the Abandoned Facebook page for more information on the tour, and any updates.

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