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White’s Mill: The Dramatic Conclusion

January 19, 2012


Baum, Walter.  Two Hundred Years, The Sellersville Herald, 1938.

Costonis, John J., Icons and Aliens:  Law, Aesthetics, and Environmental Change.  Urbana and Chicago:  University of Illinois.  1989.

Del Sordo, Stephen G., “Eighteenth-Century Grist Mills:  Some Chester County, Pennsylvania, Examples,” in Perspectives in Vernacular Architecture. Camille Wells, editor.  Vernacular Architecture Forum, Annapolis, MD, 1982,

Denenberg, Thomas Andrew.  Wallace Nutting and the Invention of Old America.  New Haven and London:  Yale University Press, in association with the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art.  2003.

Engart, Henry S., “Notes on Gristmills and Milling in Pennsylvania” presented to the Bucks County Historical Society, 1933

Foundation for Historic Buildings, Harleysville, PA.  Holds interior photographs and  measurements taken of White’s Mill before it was razed in 2002.   There was no response to efforts to contact them regarding the documentation they hold.

Gottfried, Herbert and Jan Jennings, American Vernacular Design 1870-1940, Ames: Iowa State University Press, 1988.

Hutson-Saxton, Martha Young, Walter Emerson Baum 1884-1956, Souderton, PA:  Indian Valley Printing Company, 1996.

Jackson, John Brinckerhoff, Discovering the Vernacular Landscape, New Haven and London:  Yale University Press, 1984.

Jackson, Kenneth T., Crabgrass Frontier:  The Suburbanization of the United States.  New York, Oxford:  Oxford University Press.  1985.

Lemon, James T., The Best Poor Man’s Country:  A Geographical Study of Early Southeastern Pennsylvania.  Baltimore and London:  The Johns Hopkins Press.  1972.

Map collection, Free Library, Philadelphia Pennsylvania.

Map collection, Montgomery County Historical Society, Norristown, PA

Mill at Anselma, mill operation technical data,

Montgomery County Directory, Journal of Commerce Publishing Company, Philadelphia, PA.  1900-1902. [In the collection of the Montgomery County Historical Society]

Montgomery County Planning Commission, Draft: Indian Valley Regional Comprehensive Plan, September 2004,

Nutting, Wallace.  Pennsylvania Beautiful (Eastern).  New York:  Bonanza Books.  1924.

Glassie, Henry, Pattern in the Material Folk Culture of the Eastern United States.  Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press.  1968.

Redding, Kathy.  Tylersport, PA.  Mill recollections, provided in response to letter from Sabra Smith.

Ruth, Phil Johnson.  A North Penn Pictorial.  Souderton, PA: Indian Valley Printing Company, 1988.

Ruth, Phil Johnson.  Images of Old Upper Salford.  Souderton, PA: Indian Valley Printing Company, 1991.

Smith, David G., Research material regarding White family genealogy.

White, James H., Fairfield, VA.  Mill recollections via email.

White, Paul M., Margate, NJ. Oral history, notes and tape recordings made by Sabra Smith prior to his death in 2002.

White, Thomas H., Personal journals, photographs and personal effects,  Private Collection

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. January 19, 2012 1:07 pm

    What a marvelous bit of time traveling, Sabra—a peek at the daily life of a miller and, in his letters, a touching reminder of how tough and fragile the life was. Your family is so fortunate that you were able to piece together all these details.

  2. February 6, 2012 11:01 am

    It’s sad that the mill ended up just being torn down. It seems to me it had the potential to be an exhibit or museum. I can see you’ve done a lot of great research. I’m glad I ran across your blog!

    By the way, just curious, how do you track down these places you research?


    • Sabra Smith permalink*
      February 6, 2012 11:44 am

      Could have been fantastic community space, art studios (huzzah for the creative economy!), or even loft apartment space. Different kinds of people need and desire different kinds of living spaces. Not everyone who lives in the ‘burbs wants to be in a house or 1980s vintage townhouse. The miller’s house supposedly dates to the 18th century (the house we see now was built around the original structure — old, old bones). This site I wrote about for obvious reasons — the family connection and plethora of materials available to me (many of which I haven’t even featured yet…) Genealogy is often a leaping-off point, as was classwork for my masters degree. Thanks for visiting, Matt!

  3. Gary Matz permalink
    January 29, 2013 11:10 am

    Thank you for writing an excellent story portaying the history of the old mill. I grew up right up the road from there and saw the decline of the condition of the buildings. It is a shame they have been torn down never to be seen or experienced by our children except for the few rare photographs that remain. So sad that the modern ways have taken over and the historic landmarks slowly slip away into history.
    The old mill buildings would have made an excellent museum or historic space for Salford Township.

  4. jdschuebel permalink
    March 4, 2020 8:57 am

    My Nana and Pop Pop (Samuel & Alverda Fitzgerald) lived on the corner of Route 563 & Allentown Road in Tylersport and my Grandmom & Grandpop (Ernst & Mary Guenst) lived in the old schoolhouse and wood mill in Ridge Valley. This area is filled with such amazing history. I’m lucky to have some amazing old photo’s from the area.

    Thank you so much for an amazing article from where I grew up.


  1. White’s Mill, Tylersport, Pennsylvania Part 2 « My Own Time Machine: Buildings, Places, People & Things
  2. Fitzwater Genealogy: Then to now « My Own Time Machine: Buildings, Places, People & Things

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