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National Register of Historic Places Program

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.


Property Name Plains Mill
Reference Number 14000238
State Virginia
County Rockingham
Town Timberville
Street Address 14767 Plains Mill Road
Multiple Property Submission Name N/A
Status Listed 5/19/2014
Areas of Significance ARCHITECTURE, INDUSTRY
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Plains Mill, located on the North Fork of the Shenandoah River in Rockingham County, Virginia, is a well-preserved merchant mill that illustrates a continuous evolution in milling technology from original construction in 1847-1849 through the 1950s. The boldly flowing spring that powered the mill's wheel first attracted millers as early as the colonial period. In 184 7-1849, Dr. Solomon Henkel and his son, Siram, replaced an earlier mill with the present timber- frame building which rises an impressive five stories above the river. Siram Henkel's extensive papers document the construction process on a nearly daily basis and identity the many craftsmen involved in the work, such as frame builder Isaac May, mason Jeremiah Clemmens, millwrights, painters, and others. Many original features survive, including Dutch doors hung on decorative strap hinges and the massive husk frame that supported the gearing. In the early twentieth century, the mill was converted to the roller milling process and it preserves a wealth of specialized equipment from the period. The construction of terra-cotta block grain bins ca. 1923, and of cinder block and frame feed mill, machine shop, and warehouse additions and a separate office in the 1940s and 1950s, round out the mill's historic evolution. Plains Mill is locally significant under Criterion A in the area of Industry as a well-preserved example of an evolved nineteenth- and twentieth-century merchant mill. The mill also is locally significant under Criterion C in the area of Architecture for its retention of numerous architectural and technological features from the period of significance, which extends from original construction beginning in 184 7 through the construction of the separate office ca. 1959.

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Properties are listed in the National Register of Historic Places under four criteria: A, B, C, and D. For information on what these criterion are and how they are applied, please see our Bulletin on How to Apply the National Register Criteria