History, Culture, and Technology

Miller Jeanne shows kids how the bolter separates different sizes of grain
Miller Jeanne explaining how the bolter separates ground wheat by size

NPS Photo

Get your hands on history!

Students can learn through interactive programs at the the last operational mill on Rock Creek. Students learn about the foods they eat, life in rural 1800s Washington, D.C., how water is used to increase production, and the role mills played in the industrial revolution. Students also can learn about how children lived in the 1800s and how has time changed how and where we live during the colonial period at Old Stone House, built in 1765!

Need to make a reservation?

Programs are free but must be scheduled a minimum of two weeks in advance. Call us at 202-895-6070 Wednesday through Sunday, between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. While most Rock Creek Park school programs are available year-round, Peirce Mill programs are available April through October -- the Mill is open only on Saturdays and Sundays during the winter.


Curriculum-based programs

Cornucopia-From the Farm to Your Fingers - PreK-2nd grade - (60 minutes): Corn comes to life in this interactive program about corn milling. Students will de-shell and grind corn by hand and learn how the mill worked. Key concepts include food, natural resources; producing verses consuming; business; motion; simple machines.

Once upon a Time, Life at the Peirce Mill Plantation - 1st-4th grade - (60 minutes): Students will experience the mid 19th century as they compare and contrast life in rural Washington to the present. Older students will also read maps and track the area's urbanization and change. Key concepts include life; food; physical surroundings; business; resources; rural verses urban; development; energy; simple machines; slavery.

Powered by Water and Gravity, the Workings of a Mill - 3rd-4th grade - (60 minutes): Students will marvel at how all the machinery in Peirce Mill operated on water power and gravity as they take an in-depth look into this giant machine.Key concepts includes energy; simple machines; water resources; location and growth; technological changes.

Industrial Revolution Hits Home - 5th-6th grade - (90 minutes): In 1820, Peirce Mill was state of the art and its technology was an important part of the Industrial Revolution in America. Students will learn about the major changes that took place between 1780 and 1860 and their influences on today. Key concepts include technological changes; industrialization; urbanization.

Travel tips

• Parking for buses, vans, and cars is available near Peirce Mill.

• Bring your lunch. There are limited uncovered picnic areas nearby. There are no food facilities in the park.

• Incorporate pre- and post-trip lessons into your visit.

Getting to Peirce Mill

Peirce Mill is at 2401 Tilden St., NW, Washington, D.C., at the corner of Tilden Street and Beach Drive.

•By school bus or van:

Beach Drive is closed to bus traffic. Buses must access the mill by Tilden Street or Park Road, NW. A bus turnaround is located next to Peirce barn to drop off and pick up students.
From Connecticut Avenue: turn east onto Tilden Street. Peirce Mill is at the bottom of the hill.
From 16th Street: turn west onto Park Road which becomes Tilden Street when crossing Beach Drive. Go through the traffic light, cross the bridge. Peirce Mill is on your right.

By Metro:

Take the red Line to the Cleveland Park or Van Ness metro station.
From Cleveland Park: Walk north on Connecticut Avenue and hike to the right (east) down the Melvin Hazen Trail to Peirce Mill.
From Van Ness: south to Connecticut Avenue and turn left (east) on Tilden Street. Walk down the hill to Peirce Mill.

Stormy weather. Are we open?
During inclement weather, particularly snow storms and hurricanes, federal offices in the District area may be closed. To check if we are open go to the OPM website. Click on "operating status" along the top bar. Also check local television and radio broadcasts for announcements.

Need to contact us?

Running late?

Need to change or cancel a reservation?

Call us at 202-895-6070, Wednesday through Sunday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Last updated: January 14, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

5200 Glover Rd, NW
Washington, DC 20015


(202) 895-6000
Rock Creek Park administrative offices can be reached at 202-895-6000. For general information call 202-895-6070 Wednesday - Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and dial 0.

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