Out of hundreds of mills on the East Coast in colonial times, only a few survive, and fewer still operate. As the oldest working mill in Maryland (1682), the flour producing "grist" mill in front of you has participated in three centuries of war, nation-building, industrial invention and agricultural heritage. During the American Revolution, the Wye Grist Mill and hundreds of others like it on the Eastern Shore shipped barrels of flour via the Chesapeake Bay to the Continental Army, commanded by General George Washington. Historians dubbed the Eastern Shore "the Breadbasket of the American Revolution."
Prominent past owners of the mill include Richard Bennett III, Edward Lloyd III and IV (owners of Wye House) and Colonel William Hemsley, Commander of the Queen Anne's County militia and provisioner to the Continental Army, 1779-1783. Oliver Evans, "father of the modern factory" and first great American inventor, used the Wye Grist Mill in the 1790's to formulate automation ideas that revolutionized American factories.
The Friends of Wye Mill, a local visitor-supported charity, not part of any government, lovingly preserves and operates this mill, grinding flour to this day using two massive grindstones powered by a 26 horsepower overshot waterwheel. The Mill is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. "Millers" sell flour and offer tours April - November 10:00a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Monday - Thursday; 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Friday - Sunday; and demonstrate flour grinding every 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month. The mill is closed November - April.
Please help us keep the mill running: Friends of Wye Mill, P.O. Box 277, Wye Mills, MD 21679.