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[graphic header] A National Register of Historic Places Travel Itinerary Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor
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[graphic] Durham Mill and Furnace

Streetview of the Durham Mill and Furnace
Photograph by Sue Pridemore

Side Entrance of the Durham Mill and Furnace
Photograph by Sue Pridemore

The Durham Mill is typical of early 19th-century gristmills in the eastern part of Pennsylvania. The 3-story stone building was built in 1820 on the foundation walls of the historic Durham Furnace. The furnace, dating from 1727, had produced pig and bar iron as well as cast iron pans, utensils and stove plates for nearly 70 years. Pig iron was crude iron; the direct product of the blast furnace. When refined, it produces steel or wrought iron. The mill, always operated with an overshot wheel, drew its water from Cook's Creek by way of a 3/4 mile long raceway. One of the first managers of the furnace was Colonel George Taylor, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. During his time there the furnace produced cannons, cannon balls and shot, and other military equipment for the American troops. Ironically, a loyalist named Joseph Galloway actually owned the furnace then. Also associated with the war were the Durham boats designed for river commerce by Robert Durham. George Washington used 40 of these boats in his historic crossing of the Delaware River. Another Revolutionary War figure associated with the area was general Daniel Morgan, a native of Durham and an employee at the furnace at age 16. Rubin Knecht Bachman, a US Representative during the Hayes administration, owned the mill in the late 19th century and early 1900s. The outstanding addition over these years was the brick warehouse with gamble roof built in 1812. The mill was in continuous operation until 1967, producing primarily livestock feed in its later years.

Durham Mill and Furnace is located on Durham Rd. in Durham Township, Bucks County. The building is not open to the public.

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