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Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
Charles Town, West Virginia
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May 6, 1999     Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
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May 6, 1999
 

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2O Shepherdstown Continued Potomac-Mecklenburg Gar- den Club member Carolyn Tho- mas provides information about native plants for David Zollmann, who purchased sev- eral seedlings at the club's an- nual plant sale at Trinity Epis- copal Church. (Photo by Diane Steece) the heat and moisture to the soil as they were germinating, he would place 6-8 inch wide strips of heavy material over the rows. These strips were moistened with water daily, or as needed. They kept the bad seeds (weeds) to a minimum as the good seedlings germinated and developed Fa- ther would turn up a portion of the cloths each day to look for indica- tions of greenery and remove the row covers as soon as this oc- curred. When he was finished with these strips, they were dried, rolled, and stored for the next sea- son. A Glimpse Into History From the August 26, 1978 WV "Hillbilly". Duane Ellifritt, an en- gineer with the Historic American Engineering Records WV summer recording team, a group of engi- neers researching antiquities throughout the state, included the following material about the Tho- mas Shepherd mill in his report, "Early Engineering in the Hills," a compilation of materials describ- ing a variety of sites throughout the state. "For the history of the mill, I will let you read historian Dennis Zembala's report: 'The location of this early grist mill is in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, the first white settle- ment in the Valley of Virginia. Al- though there is some doubt as to the exact date of this settlement, evidence points to 1719 when the Philadelphia Presbyterian Synod received a request from a congre- gation on 'Potomake in Virginia' that a minister be sent to them. In any case, there is good evidence that a permanent settlement was well-established by 1734 when Thomas Shepherd received a grant of 222 acres from Governor Gooch.' 'Shepherd was a native of West- ern Maryland and his family had sizeable holdings near Frederick and Sharpsburg. He was a man of several talents and besides engag- ing in farming was active in com- mercial, promotional and specula- tive ventures at various times. Recognizing the fertility of the land and the skill of those English and German families who had al- ready settled in the area, Shep- herd built a grist mill on the bank of Falling Spring Branch (now Town Run) to process the products of their labor. In 1762 he obtained a charter from the State of Vir- ginia for a town to be named Mecklenburg and to be laid out on his land. For a nominal fee he deeded the lots to settlers on the condition that they erect perma- nent buildings on them. At his death in 1776 he owned two flour " mills and a saw mill in addition to several large farms.' 'The construction of the mill dates sometime between 1734 and 1739, when it appears in the Fred- erick County, Virginia, Court Journals. It was originally a two- story stone building and was most likely powered by a wooden over- shot water wheel. As the agricul- ture of the region flourished, the capacity of the mill proved insuffi- cient and Shepherd built a second mill (possibly the stone building downstream). As the settlement spread southward up the valley numerous mills were established until, by 1800, Jefferson County alone had 31 grist or merchant mills. By then grain production had moved beyond the subsistence level and the region had become an important source of flour and grain for coastal markets from Philadelphia to Alexandria. Shepherd's Mill was most likely the first in the Valley of Virginia and set a pattern which, in retro- spect, assumed large proportions.' 'The present state of Shepherd's Mill is more character- istic of the late 19th century than the early lath. The large wrought iron water wheel was one of sev- eral solutions adopted by millers in rural localities to increase the capacity of their mills and im- prove the quality of their product. Although a set of stone burrs re- main, the increased power of this wheel was probably used to oper- ate a system of roller mills as well. This would explain the addition of a third story since the gradual re- duction method of milling then de- veloping necessitated the use more machinery, specifically sepa- rators and flour dressers or purifi- ers. It is likely that the wheel, the shafts and pulleys, and the timber 98 CHWY 98 HYUNDN CAVAUER ACCENT 6L 2 Dot.; Red, AC 5 Spd, 15K Mi, .60K Mi. Warranty. $135 Mo.* OS CHWY 93 MERCURY MONTE CARLO SABLE A 7:, A C, 67K Miles bmded w/Sunroof, 74K Mi $245 Mo,* ;175 Mo.* 93 DODGE 90 GEO SHADOW STORM AT AC 82K Miles Automatic, AC $100 Me.* $75 Me.* 88 PONTIAC 84 GMC SIERRA GRAND PRIX PICKUP 2 Dl: A'l: AC, 89K 350. VS, AT $116 Me* $95 Me.* 97 CHWY 95 NISSAN CAVAUER SENTRA AT, AC, Facu,'y 5 S,eed, AC, PW Warranty, 25K M i $195 Me.* $175 Me.* 94 FORD 93 TOYOTA TEMPO GL CEUCA RT b~aded, 52K Miles 5 Spd, Sunroo]: b)aded $118 Me.* $223 Me.* 89 FORD N5O *Indicates nT RIAT 4X4 PU payment with Veo'Sharp, ac 5 Spd $1000 cash or NOW $6,995 trade down 83 CHEVY and approved financing. 4)(4, 5 SpeedTitle, tax, and tags extra/ I I l n I I I I I I I CITIZEN'S DAY Every Tuesday Seniors receive l, OFF (of any service)1 ffer Valid with This Coupon] il Every Thursday Ladle, receive I Offer Valid with This Coupon 1 1 Located Beside The 340 Car Wash On Rte. 340 & Willow Spring Dr Charles Town | | Hours' Monday thru Friday 8-5 Saturday 8-3 , | -" 725-3636 : l l l l I i I I l a l | I 1 SPIRIT OF JEFFERSON Farmer's ADVOCATE - Thursday, May 6, 1999 framing are of similar vintage the present appearance of the mill is typical of milling dur- ing a period of transition from ru- ral 'custom' mills which ground the farmer's grain for a percent- age. Today a 'flour executive' is a dealer in commodities and has at his disposal vast quantities of au- tomatic machinery with a capacity hundreds of times that of Shepherd's original mill.'" Thanks For The Memory! I want to thank Robert McCarty for the wonderful photo which he shared with readers of The Spirit. He called me and in- dicated that he had a photo of the Shepherd grist mill I suggested that he contact our editor to deter- mine the possibility of including this 1912 picture of the mill in an upcoming issue of the newspaper. The picture was on a penny post- card and added a special dimen- sion to the history portion of the column which involved materials about the mill. Thank you, sir, for "your interest. Reminders May 8. Shepherdstown Day Care Center's Annual Rummage Sale and Auction. Shepherdstown Fire Hall. 9 a.m. For info: 876- 6923. May 8. Second Saturday Gal- lery Walk. Shepherdstown. 5-7 p.m. Sponsored by the town's Art Gallery Association. Special gal- lery talks at Ricco Gallery and The Gallery at Matthews and Shank at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. For info: 876- 2243. May 8. Animal Welfare Society's annual Mother's Day Flower Sale. Maddox Professional Center. 9 a.m. til 2 p.m. Many types of plants. May 8. Bike Safety Seminar. Shepherdstown Police Depart- ment the sponsor at the railroad station. 6:30 p.m. Bike traffic laws, safety tips, bike inspections. Youngsters under 13 years must have a parent with them. For info: 876-6036. May 9. Bike Ride on the C&O Academic Team Is Tops The Jefferson High Academic Team recently finished first in the tri-county academic competition called A.C.E. (Academic Competiton for Excellence). During the 1998-99 season, the JHS team competed against Mus- selman, Martinsburg, Hedgesville, and Berkeley Springs High Schools, compiling a 7-1 record. In the academic matches, students competed in teams in the areas of English, social studies, math, sci- ence, and general knowledge. Students on the JHS team were se- niors Patrick Flanagan, captain, Dan Beeson, Kevin Bayard, John Grantham, Robert Helmick, Charlie Hoadley, Jonathan Hoffman, Lauren Kelly, Ran King, James Lanham, Hilary Maye, Drew Moreland, Meg Peterson; juniors Jonanthan Green, Jessica Horner, Tim Smith; and sophomore Sean Flanagan. Child Development Center Explored Royal Vendors, the national leader in the manufacturing of cold drink vending machines, hosted a meeting of local community and industry leaders to determine the feasibility of a child development center to serve working families in the community. Royal Vendors recently received a grant to fund a family-friendly workplace initiative at Royal Vendors. Cheri Sheridan, a nationally- known expert in work and family issues, was retained by Royal Ven- dors to lead the project. "Understanding the needs of working families is critical in today's workplace" said Larry LaBrier, Royal Vendors president. "Access to quality child care is only one aspect of what families need to balance work demands with family concerns." Research conducted by Sheridan will include a determination of the need for child care, the economics of opening and operating a cen- ter and the practical considerations associated with quality child care. If a child development center resulted from this effort, it would serve families living, working or commuting through the community. RETIREES NEEDED Retired? Are you looking for a to read? The children of Jefferson meaningful way to fill those empty County need you! Won't you help? hours? Why not help a child learn The Foster Grandparent Pro- gram has served in West Virginia Canal sponsored by the local po- for more than thirty years. The lice department. From Shepherd- goal of the Foster Grandparent is stown to Harpers Ferry and re- to form a relationship with a child turn beginning at 12 noon at the who has special or exceptional canal parking lot on the Potomac needs. There are many children River shore across river from in Jefferson County who could use Shepherdstown. Safety inspec- your help. tion before ride. Helmets re- If you would like to know more quired. For info: 876-6063. about this program, please call May 12. Potomac Valley Youth Dorothy Gathers at (304) 263- Orchestra. Frank Center. Shep- 4062, Potomac Highlands Support herd College campus. 7 p.m. Di- Services or Daisy Arbogast 800- rectors: Dr. Mark McCoy andAnn 296-7923. Funded by the Corpo- Munro. ration for National Service. 1996 JEEP 1996 PLYMOUTH 1996 TOYOTA GRAND CHEROKEE VOYAGER VAN TAKOMA SX 4X4 AT, AC, PW, PL, Tilt Wheel, 6 Cyl, V6, AT, AC, PW, AM/FM/Tape, Rear Red, 4 Cylinder, 5 Speed, Alloy Cruise Control, Rear Defogger. Defogger & More. 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