Beginning in the 1730s, Waterford's residents developed productive farms, a series of mills, and a transportation network. By the early 1800s, Thomas Phillips, an enterprising Quaker, farmed the land in front of you.
To ensure access to the village and its mills, he and fellow farmers petitioned for a covered bridge over nearby Catoctin Creek. The bridge washed away in the same storm that caused the 1889 Johnstown Flood. For more than 200 years, Waterford's flour fed families near and far. The last mill closed in 1939.
For many decades Waterford produced flour, cornmeal, leather, iron goods, furniture, and caskets. Wagons drawn by oxen or horses carried the goods to regional markets.
Roads carved out of the wilderness in the 1700s radiated from Waterford like the spokes of a wheel—and are still in use today. British General Braddock's troops rode down Old Wheatland Road (behind you) on his ill-fated expedition against the French and Indians in 1755.
Waterford's farmers and manufacturers hoped to have their own canal or railroad. However, when the B&O Railroad and C&O Canal came to Point of Rocks, Maryland, in the 1830s, that river town became Waterford's link to Eastern seaboard markets. Not until after the Civil War did a railroad come to Virginia's Loudoun