Breneman-Turner Mill

Breneman-Turner Mill (HMQAU)

Location: Harrisonburg, VA 22802
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 31.508', W 78° 52.519'

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Survivor of The Burning

— 1864 Valley Campaign —

On October 6, 1864, Union soldiers approached this mill on their march from Harrisonburg to Broadway during "The Burning." This was U.S. Gen. Philip H. Sheridan's two-week campaign to end the Valley's role as the "Breadbasket of the Confederacy." His men burned vast numbers of mills, barns, and farm buildings.

George Shaver, the 70-year-old miller, lived in the house to your left. He was seriously ill, so his 77-year old Wife, Hannah, pleaded with the soldiers not to burn the mill. Sympathetic but following orders, they set the fire and then left; Mrs. Shaver quickly beat out the fire with a broom. Later, when embers from a burning barn set the mill on fire again, she blew a horn to summon help. Jacob Wenger, a farmer who lived over the hill behind you, raced over and extinguished the fire. Today, this mill is the only surviving antebellum grist mill in Rockingham County with its original equipment, including three sets of French burr grind stones.

Abraham Breneman settled here in 1770 and built the mill about 1800. The mill ground corn meal, hominy, and grain, and produced high-quality flour that was sent to the Alexandria and Baltimore harbors for export. The Breneman family operated the mill until 1849, when Shaver bought it. J. Howard Turner bought the mill in 1933 and operated it until his death in 1988. As late as 1973, it still produced 500 pounds of flour weekly. Turner's children donated the mill to the Valley Brethren-Mennonite Heritage Center in 2003. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the Virginia Landmarks Register.
Series This marker is part of the Virginia Civil War Trails series
Placed ByVirginia Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, September 20th, 2014 at 5:11am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 685213 N 4266221
Decimal Degrees38.52513333, -78.87531667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 31.508', W 78° 52.519'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 31' 30.48" N, 78° 52' 31.14" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)540
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 5006 Turners Mill Ln, Harrisonburg VA 22802, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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