Mahlon Stacy's Gristmill

Mahlon Stacy's Gristmill (HM2483)

Location: Trenton, NJ 08608 Mercer County
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Country: United States of America
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N 40° 13.086', W 74° 45.838'

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Where Trenton Began

Trenton originated with a gristmill founded near this spot on the Assunpink Creek over three centuries ago. The mill drove the early economic growth of the town, soon becoming known as Trent's or the Trenton Mills after the family that owned and invested in the enterprise. In spite of numerous floods and some devastating fires, mill waterwheels turned here for almost 200 years, grinding grain into flour and meal, and later helping to make cotton, wool and paper.
Mahlon Stacy, a Yorkshireman by birth, settled at the Falls of the Delaware in 1679, building a house that he named Ballifield (after his ancestral home in England) on the site later occupied by the William Trent House. Stacy immediately set about establishing a gristmill where the Indian trail and main route to Burlington (now South Broad Street) crossed the Assunpink Creek. Other settlers, as they brought land into cultivation, came to the mill to get their grain processed into flour and meal. Some of the flour and meal they consumed themselves; the surplus was transported to market.In 1714, Mahlon Stacy, the younger, sold his father's property to William Trent, a Philadelphia merchant whose name soon came to define the emerging town. The Trents rebuilt and enlarged the gristmill, adding a sawmill and

fulling mill. Within a few years the gristmill was the most productive in all of West Jersey and taxed at a level four times more than its competitors. The Trenton Mills flourished under the succession of wealthy and politically well connected owners who took over the Trent estate: William Morris (1729-33), George Thomas (1733-53), Robert Lettis Hooper (1753-65), and Robert Waln (1765-84).The main action of the Second Battle of Trenton on January 2, 1777 swirled all around the Trenton Mills, as the American forces repelled British efforts to cross the nearby bridge over the Assunpink. After the Revolution the mills went into decline and were effectively bankrupt by the early 19th century. In 1814 the Waln family resurrected the building as part of their Eagle Factory textile venture, using the premises for picking and carding cotton. Floods in 1822 and 1843, followed by a fire in 1846, doomed this business, causing the site to be sold and redeveloped in 1851 by Henry McCall as a paper mill. This building was also felled by a fire in 1872, finally spelling the end of industrial activity at this seminal location in Trenton's landscape.
HM NumberHM2483
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, December 31st, 2017 at 1:01pm PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18T E 520083 N 4451991
Decimal Degrees40.21810000, -74.76396667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 40° 13.086', W 74° 45.838'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds40° 13' 5.16" N, 74° 45' 50.28" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)609
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 100 US-206, Trenton NJ 08608, US
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