Steven Spring
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CAPTURING OUR HERITAGE. Thanks for viewing my photos of yesteryear. Many years ago I enjoyed photographing our American cultural heritage...buildings and places of days gone by. When I moved back to Virginia, my interests gravitated to old grist mills with water wheels. In the days before cars and supermarkets, before modern methods of manufacture were developed, the settlers who carved a living out of the wilderness worked hard to provide the basic necessities of life. One of the most important mechanical devices used by early families to make life a little easier was the mill. At a time when steam engines and electricity were still in the future, mills harnessed the natural power of moving water. Though mills were built for many purposes, perhaps the most common were the grist mills, which ground grain for bread and feed for animals. Grain milling is one of the oldest industries in the history of mankind...The people went out and gathered it and ground it in mills (Numbers 11:8)... Once there were hundreds of mills scattered along streams and rivers throughout the country. Now most are gone, replaced by modern methods and electricity. My quest now is to document those mills that are still standing and perhaps provide a little history. Comments and suggestions are welcome. And thanks again for viewing my photos. Steve Spring, Millfoto Photography
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Hi Steven, This was my 5th great grandfather, George Nixon's homestead. I'd love any other pictures or information about it if you have any. What is Woodburn's specific address? One day I'd love to buy it and bring it back into the family.

Woodson's Mill was built around 1820 but the date the dam was constructed is unknown. The pond is named after Dr. George Fleming one of the early owners of the mill. One of the first owners was named David Thompson (1820); and; the name changed with each successive owner (Coleman, Fleming, Woody, Talley, Anthony, Crank, Woodson, Woodson, Moody (1971).It was reportedly purchased/inherited from WB Woodson by his son, Calvin J Woodson, around 1915 and operated as a flour and wheat mill until the 1950s. The "millers" house was built across the street where the Woodson's lived for many years (the family cemetery is at the back of the property). The Hugh E. Joyce family purchased the mill in 1972 from Maurice F. Moody, (Woodson’s son-in-law). The Joyce family used it for both recreation and as an art studio for Mrs. Joyce until her death in 1992. Mrs. Joyce was instrumental in getting the street and mill to carry the Woodson name, although locals often refer to this as Flemings Mill and Pond on the Little River. She had new windows, air conditioning, ceiling fans, and electricity installed to support her art work. Mr. Joyce died in 2005. Mr. & Mrs. Joyce are buried in the Woodson family plot behind the miller’s house. Portions of the original miller’s house are reported to have been built in 1790, although we have not been able to document the actual date. The miller's house was expanded by the Joyce family in the 1990s with new construction resembling the 1840-1870 original miller's house. The property has a 2 room “bunkhouse” and a horse barn that was restored this past year (2015). The mill has not been in operation for grinding corn or wheat for 60 years; although the Joyce’s restored parts of the mill close to 40 years ago, it has fallen into an unstable condition from water, wind, and termite damage. There are hundreds of wasp nests throughout the interior and quite a few snakes that have taken up residence over the years. Windows have fallen out and there are many holes in the walls that allow for water intrusion. The structural integrity has declined over the years making it unsafe to walk safely through the 3 story structure. Floor boards have decayed and support beams have broken in several places. My wife and I purchased the mill and home 2 years ago and placed many warning signs up to reduce the risk of injury to visitors, given the hazardous state of the property. Engineering studies have been done recently and restoration work will begin this summer (2016) and should take 2-3 years. Restoration will start with strengthening the rock foundation in several locations as the first phase. Once the foundation is firm, the second phase of replacing support beams will begin. The third phase will focus on replacement of siding and windows. We’re looking for a water wheel to replace the one that has been lost over the years. We appreciate the interest that so many have in Woodson's Mill but cannot allow visitors given the weakened condition of the structure both externally and internally. We are members of the Society for the Restoration of Antique Mills.

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Steve, it so good to hear from you! Just yesterday I found a mill that doesn't seem to be on anyones radar called Byrd's Mill.http://www.panoramio.com/photo/128167976

L&F - Steve, it's been a while. I need to find an excuse to chat with you some time soon. In the mean time, I hope that you will enjoy a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

Love the photo. Don't think it needs the border.

An abandoned beauty. L+F

A very beautiful courthouse, beautifully photographed. Thank you for all the information. L+F

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