Jackson Mill, West Virginia (Part 2)

Posted by on Apr 18, 2012 in Blog | 6 comments

Jackson Mill, West Virginia (Part 2)

In Part 1, we looked at Jackson Mill itself and heard the story of the young Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, who lived on the Jackson Estate from age 6 in 1831 until he left for West Point in 1842.

Mary Conrad Cabin, Jackson Mill, Weston, West Virginia, USA

Mary Conrad Cabin, Jackson Mill, Weston, West Virginia

–  Click on the image to enlarge or purchase  –

Cummins Jackson left Jackson’s Mill in 1847 to search for gold in California and died there in 1849. His property at Jackson’s Mill was held in heirship until 1868 when it was purchased by his sister, Catherine Jackson White. Upon her death in 1876, the farm was sold outside the Jackson family. In 1915, a five-acre tract of the original property, which included the old gristmill and the site of Cummins Jackson’s house, was purchased by the Mononogahela Power Company.  In 1924, the property was donated to the state of West Virginia as a statewide meeting place for youth enrolled in the 4-H program. The first 4-H camp at Jackson’s Mill had been held in 1921.

Other buildings added to the site include the McWhorter cabin (not shown), constructed in the 1790s near the neighboring town of Jane Lew and was moved to the site in 1929. The building above is the Mary Conrad Cabin , which was originally located on a site in the village of Roanoke, Lewis County, that is now under the waters of Stonewall Jackson Lake. The land where it sat was first obtained in a land grant by George Jackson, brother to Colonel Edward Jackson, who started Jackson’s Mill.

The grist produced at Jackson’s Mill is not from the grindstones of the mill built by the Jackson family but from the even older Blaker’s Mill that was moved to the site and reconstructed in the shadows of the Jackson mill. Originally constructed near Alderson in Greenbrier County, West Virginia, it was relocated to its present site beginning in 1981

Robert Hockman Blaker of Wilmington, Delaware, donated the family’s mill that had been producing cornmeal and flour since 1796 to the people of West Virginia.

Blaker's Mill, Jackson Mill, Weston, West Virginia, USA

Blaker’s Mill, Jackson Mill, Weston, West Virginia

–  Click on the image to enlarge or purchase  –

Jacob and Mary Hockman erected the gristmill at the confluence of Mill Creek and Muddy Creek soon after moving to western Virginia. In 1842, about the time that Cummins Jackson was building the present-day Jackson family mill, the Greenbrier County mill was inherited by one of the three Hockman daughters, Susan, and her husband, George Lewis. They hired John Blaker, from Loudon County, Virginia, to work in the mill. He eventually married Susan Lewis, probably the granddaughter of George and Susan (Hockman) Lewis. Three of their children, James L., Mamie, and Ida, operated the mill until it closed in the mid-1950’s. Robert Hockman Blaker is James’ descendant.

With funding from many sources including $150,000 raised penny by penny and dollar by dollar by the West Virginia Extension Homemakers, Blaker’s Mill was carefully disassembled, stone by stone and board by board, and transported to Jackson’s Mill as a giant jigsaw puzzle. Monies were expended on historical architects and consultants, but the backbreaking labor and ultimately, the major part of the reconstruction, was accomplished by volunteer labor.

Because it was not possible for Blaker’s Mill to be powered by the waters beside its new home on the West Fork River, a millpond was constructed to hold the rushing water that turns the giant grindstones. Water is pumped to the pond from the nearby river by electric powered pumps and returned to the river via a specially made drain.

Blaker's Mill, Jackson Mill, Weston, West Virginia, USA

Blaker’s Mill, Jackson Mill, Weston, West Virginia

–  Click on the image to enlarge or purchase  –

Click here to learn more about Stonewall Jackson including his early life

6 Comments

  1. Beautiful shots as usual, Mark. I really like the second. The reflections and all of that “green” . . . Gorgeous!
    Mark Neal recently posted..HDR – Photo Art to Techno Art is Still ArtMy Profile

  2. Terrific images Mark. Well composed, super details.
    Len Saltiel recently posted..Bow Lake MorningMy Profile

  3. Great images Mark. Absolutely love the clarity and reflection in number two! Great background information to go along as well.
    Tim Pursall recently posted..@Bristol.My Profile

  4. Love these images Mark and great to hear the history behind them.
    Chris Maskell recently posted..Texture and CurvesMy Profile

  5. Nice work Mark. Lovely vivid images today!
    Adam Allegro recently posted..Soaked at SunsetMy Profile

  6. Cracking set and informative post as always!
    Marc Collins recently posted..View from the LouvreMy Profile

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

Copy Protected by Chetan's WP-Copyprotect.