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Guest Opinion

One last look at Sterner’s Mill


We had to sneak away to satisfy our young curiosities, so we did. The place stood majestically on the curve of the road since 1758. She seemed to still be waiting there to serve those who needed her, looking so pale, so tired, so dilapidated in the sunlight.

We approached her entrance, a Dutch door long ago battered by vandals. It was already open to bid us welcome. On the ground floor we saw large wooden gears, other works, cobwebs, mold and the unbearable — yet still beautiful — musty smell, well-earned over 210 years.

Little did we realize that this would be our one last look.

Around to the side and up the bank into the first floor and, oh what a sight! The gigantic round stones, ladders and, looking down, we gazed at her most magnificent scene yet. We had to see all of it, so around to the back of the building we went.

There in all her splendor was her crown jewel. It was the massive water wheel, decrepit yet so glorious. It towered over us and seemed to be saying that it wished it could turn again.

Little did we realize that this would be our one last look.

We left her in awe, stricken with a sight that, to this day, has not been forgotten. This pale, tired, long silent queen of the past will always remain a beautifully scenic memory.

Little did we realize that this would be our one last look.

Soon after, a state park moved in, and the demise of Sterner’s Mill was at hand. Now to all who have seen her, she is only a cherished memory.

As for my brother and I, thankfully, we had our one first and last look.

Sterner’s Mill was once located on Sterner’s Mill Road in the Tohickon Valley. The Tohickon Quarry was next to the mill. The miller’s house on the other side of the mill. All of these places were eradicated for Nockamixon State Park. An entire village, “Stovertown” was also destroyed, leaving only a five-arched bridge under water.

Earl W. Underkoffler lives in Ivyland.

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