Peirce Mill

Peirce Mill, a stone building with a wooden waterwheel.
Peirce Mill operated from 1829-1897, and was restored by the National Park Service from 1933-1936.


Quick Facts

Isaac Peirce built Peirce Mill on Rock Creek in 1829. Using the moving water as a power source, the mill ground corn, wheat, and rye. Succeeding generations further developed the mill, sawmill, orchard, and tree nursery. Before the Civil War, slaves provided much of the labor on the 960 acre property. In 1890, an act of Congress incorporated the mill and 350 acres of the property into Rock Creek Park. The mill operated until the turbine's shaft broke in 1897. 

At the turn of the century, park managers went to work improving the site. First, managers improved the roads and bridges. Then they added a new dam that provided a nice aesthetic for picnickers. In the 1920s, the mill was converted into a tea room complete with electric lights. In 1933, New Deal legislation transferred Rock Creek Park to the National Park Service. The National Park Service restored the mill and grounds to their historic layout by 1936.

Location: Intersection of Tilden Street NW and Beach Drive, Washington, D.C. 20015.

Fees: Free

April - October 
Friday - Sunday

10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

November - February 
Saturday - Sunday
Noon to 4:00 p.m.

Saturday - Sunday
10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Milling Demonstrations:
April-October on 2nd and 4th Saturday, 11 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Last updated: December 16, 2018