The photo above shows the spillway gate and bridge.
The Society for Industrial Archeology awarded the 2019 Eric Delony Industrial Heritage Preservation Grant to the Newlin Grist Mill in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania. The $3,000 grant will help fund the Newlin Grist Mill’s excavation and documentation of a spillway gate, part of the historic water system for Newlin Grist Mill. The spillway gate protects the mill and millrace from excess water and has deteriorated to the point where it cannot be operated without causing additional damage to the structure. The gate is in a heavily utilized public area of the park and the level of deterioration is causing a potential hazard to the public. This project will aid in understanding the historic design of the water system, as well as guide and direct restoration efforts to ensure historical accuracy and stability to the surrounding area.
The spillway gate remains one of the few elements of the mill’s water system that has not yet been documented and/or restored, and the state of deterioration has elevated the urgency of this project. The documentation project is part of a larger study of the mill’s entire water system. Studies of the 210-foot long tail race tunnel, dam, water wheel, and flume box were completed with a team of professional engineers, NGM staff and our Public Archaeology program. It is likely that there are elements of the original construction of the spillway gate still in place, and this project will aid in our understanding of the history and development of the industrial site through the evolution and design of the water system, as well as guide and direct restoration efforts to ensure historical accuracy and stability of the structure.
Through a partnership with West Chester University, Archaeology students will assist with the project, providing them with a field learning opportunity, but additional equipment to complete the fieldwork and a draftsman to create the drawings are still needed. Students will work under the direction of Keith Doms, NGM Archaeologist, and Heather Wholey, Professor of Anthropology at West Chester University.
Archaeology Interns from West Chester University doing a survey of the millrace.
The 1704 grist mill.
Newlin Grist Mill staff member Keith Doms checking the quality of the cornmeal as it is being ground.