The Mill was built in 1842 by John Caplinger. It was burned down several times, twice during the Civil War by Shelby's Raiders. The remaining Mill Ruins, as well as the Dam and Bridge are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Bridge has been restored with decking and acts as a center of activity for the local fishing community.
In the 1890s, Caplinger Mills was the home of the rural anarchist and feminist Kate Austin. In 1897, Austin was visited there by Emma Goldman, who gave several well-attended talks on subjects such as "The Aim of Humanity," "Religion," "Anarchy," and "Free Love.". Goldman returned to Caplinger Mills in 1899, and gave three talks, including one on "Patriotism".