Prallsville Grist Mill
This is a simplified drawing of a grist mill in Washington, D.C., which is typical of most 19th century grist mills, including the Prallsville mill.
The first grist mill to be built at this location is believed to have been a one-story log building that was in operation by 1720. In 1794 John Prall, Jr. bought the mill site and surrounding land. He built a stone grist mill on the site of the present mill. Prall developed a thriving little commercial community here. In addition to the grist mill, he built the linseed oil mill, maintained the then existing saw mill, operated quarries to the east of the mill site, opened a general store, built several houses, and he had permits for two fisheries in the Delaware River. Prall's mill stood until 1874 when a fire that started in the covered railroad bridge behind the mill spread to the mill and destroyed it. Within three years a new masonry mill was built, using the foundation and walls of Prall's mill. That is the building that survives today.
The Prallsville Mill Site enjoyed the benefit of virtually every kind of transportation system that was available to 19th and early 20th century industry. Until 1834 raw materials were brought to the mill site and finished products sent to market by wagon and river boat. After 1834 canal boats were also used, and after 1850 the railroad was added as a shipping option.
Sometime in the 1950's the mill ground its last grist and the mill site became a lumber yard and feed store until the State acquired the property in 1973. Today the Prallsville millsite is part of the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park and it is operated and managed by the Delaware River Mill Society, a non-profit community organization.
The tall. metal clad building next to the grist mill is the Grain Silo, or Feed Mill. This building was built c. 1890 and is connected to the grist mill on the first and second floors. It has eight storage bins filling its third and fourth floors. Grains were delivered to this building and stored until they were processed.