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Burwell-Morgan Mill

Address: 15 Tannery Lane, Millwood, VA 22646
Phone: 540.955.2600
Web site: http://www.clarkehistory.org/

Daniel Morgan, one of the most talented and successful of America's generals during the Revolutionary War, joined forces with transplanted Tidewater patrician Nathaniel Burwell to form a business partnership in the early 1780s. Morgan, placed in command of Hessian prisoners of war from the Battle of Saratoga who were being held in Winchester, used those captives to build a grist mill in Frederick County in the area that would become the village of Millwood in Clarke County. The two men operated the venture successfully for a number of years and the mill became a center of commerce in the region.

In 1964, the Clarke County Historical Association acquired the mill, by then having fallen into terrible disrepair, along with six acres surrounding the building. Extensive efforts lead to a restoration of the working mill, which was not only designated a Virginia Historic Landmark, but also gained a listing on the National Register of Historic Places. The Association then, in 1970, sought the help of The Garden Club of Virginia to restore the grounds as well, in anticipation of making the site an important destination for visitors. A representative of the Association observed that the restoration offered The Garden Club a unique opportunity, since the mill was being interpreted in the context of environmental awareness of the need for clean water and as a tool to educate young and old about the simple means of generating power in the eighteenth century.

The Club willingly took up the call and engaged Ralph Griswold to design and oversee yet another restoration project. The landscape architect focused on controlled natural growth and on allowing plantings to merge with paths, bridges, and watercourses in simple and visually pleasing ways. The use of red and sugar maple, yellow birch, and eastern redbud trees, shrubs such as silky dogwood, winterberry, and mountain laurel, and vines such as trumpet creeper, along with a broad variety of other vegetation, produced a landscape that not only accentuated the handsomely restored mill, but also suggested the unspoiled natural beauty of an earlier place and time.

Note:
The images presented here record various stages of the property's landscape restoration. Since additional work has been supported by The Garden Club of Virginia at many properties, these images do not necessarily represent the current-day experience. Also, accession numbers reflect the year in which an image was received by the Virginia Historical Society, not the year in which it was taken.

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Description

View from the west toward the mill building after restoration.

Slide, Burwell-Morgan Mill.
Museum Collection
Accession number: 1997.31.20.A

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The overflow cascade on the south side of the mill.

Slide, Burwell-Morgan Mill.
Museum Collection
Accession number: 1997.31.20.C

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Plantings near the flume at the southwest corner of the mill.

Slide, Burwell-Morgan Mill.
Museum Collection
Accession number: 1997.31.20.E

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Simple bridges were constructed over the spillway and tail race.

Slide, Burwell-Morgan Mill.
Museum Collection
Accession number: 1997.31.20.G

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Preliminary study of Burwell-Morgan Mill landscape, May 1971.

Drawing, Burwell-Morgan Mill.
Manuscripts Collection
Call number: Mss3 G1673 a Section 3

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Site plan with architect's insertions, January 1972.

Drawing, Burwell-Morgan Mill.
Manuscripts Collection
Call number: Mss3 G1673 a Section 3

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Planting plan with revisions, June 1973.

Drawing, Burwell-Morgan Mill.
Manuscripts Collection
Call number: Mss3 G1673 a Section 3

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Letter, 1970, of Mrs. Richard E. Byrd to Mrs. Thomas E. Thorne requesting the Restoration Committee to take on the Burwell-Morgan Mill project.

Letter, Burwell-Morgan Mill.
Manuscripts Collection
Call number: Mss3 G1673 a Section 2
Multiple Page Document:  Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3

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Letter, 1972, of Mrs. Garrison Ellis to Richard Plater submitting a list of local wildflowers suggested for the mill grounds landscaping.

Letter, Burwell-Morgan Mill.
Manuscripts Collection
Call number: Mss3 G1673 a Section 2
Multiple Page Document:  Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3

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Letter, 1973, of Ralph Griswold to Mrs. Lucius J. Kellam concerning the current condition of the grounds and providing a detailed list of recommended plantings.

Letter, Burwell-Morgan Mill.
Manuscripts Collection
Call number: Mss3 G1673 a Section 2
Multiple Page Document:  Page 1 | Page 2

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Acknowledgment, 1974, from the Clarke County Historical Association to The Garden Club of Virginia for the successful landscape restoration work.

Letter, Burwell-Morgan Mill.
Manuscripts Collection
Call number: Mss3 G1673 a Section 2

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If you would like to browse The Garden Club of Virginia collection in the online catalog, click here.

Last updated March 15, 2011