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Tinicum Civic Association hosts open house at Stover Mill


Tinicum Civic Association holds a free open house at the historic Stover Mill, 852 River Road (Route 32), Erwinna, from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 1.

Guides will be on hand to describe the building and former milling operations.

Millers Glenn Blakely and Dana Osterman recently completed the three-year restoration of the Thompson-Neely Mill in Washington Crossing Park, where they currently mill corn and wheat. They will share stories while demonstrating milling operations and answering questions.

Historic preservation specialist, Kathryn Auerbach, who led the national award-winning Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) program at Bucks County Community College, is a special guest this year.

The 187-year-old Stover Mill is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is noteworthy among water-powered mills of this region for both its daring placement on a waterway as powerful as the Delaware River and for the amount of original mill machinery that remains in place.

The mill played a vital role in the area’s economy between 1832 and 1932. It harnessed the power of the Delaware River to drive two metal turbines that ran machinery for milling wheat and corn, sawed timbers and even, thanks to the initiative of mill owner John J. Stover, provided electricity to the village of Erwinna in the early part of the 20th century.

The mill underwent a major restoration of the supporting framework and basement level of the mill during the winter of 2011-2012.

All four floors of the mill are open to the public during the open house. Visitors will see everything from the power take off gears in the basement, to the four sets of millstones on the first floor, to the flour sifters on the third floor.

In addition to the mill and its machinery, visitors can view a variety of historic maps and photographs, talk to local historic preservation specialists and enjoy scenic views of the Delaware River.

When the need for water-powered mills declined in the 1930s, the Stover Mill was used for the storage of grain and flour until 1955 when John J. Stover, grandson of the builder Henry Stover, donated the mill to the Tinicum Civic Association.

On other weekends from April through October, the first floor of the mill serves as an art gallery showcasing original works by regional artists. Exhibits change monthly and admission is always free.

For information, call 610-294-9420.