The streams of Montgomery County's Piedmont Region run faster and deeper than those of the Coastal Plain. Steam power fueled the early industrial age in Montgomery County in the late-18th and 19th centuries. Mills along the Hawlings River stream valley helped turned grain into flour, trees into lumber, and fleece into wool.
Brookeville Woolen Mill, House, and Worker's House
The structures near this site on the Hawlings River—a mill and houses for the miller and mill workers—are rare surviving examples of a complex for milling wool for cloth blankets.
Although the dates of the buildings are uncertain, many small woolen mills were built in the years before the War of 1812 when the U.S. stopped importing wool from Britain. The mill was certainly built by 1816, when an advertisement for the Brookeville Woolen Factory appeared in a Georgetown newspaper. The mill was operational here until the early 1900s.
Greenwood Miller's Cottage and Dam Site
Also situated on the Hawling's River, the Greenwood Mill was built circa 1840 by Allen Bowie Davis. The saw and gristmill processed wood and grain for the local community. The miller's cottage may have been constructed about 1865 and was the residence of William Johnson, a former slave and longtime miller and blacksmith.
Of frame construction, the miller's cottage was sided with stones taken from the mill when it was dismantled in 1926 for the widening of Georgia Avenue. A few stone remains of the mill dam are still visible below the cottage.
"Drink in the beauty ... and wonder at the meaning of what you see." — Rachel Carson, The Sense of Wonder (posthumously 1965)