Union Mills Homestead Historic District

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Union Mills Homestead Historic District
UNION MILLS HOMESTEAD HISTORIC DISTRICT.jpg
in 1971
Union Mills Homestead Historic District is located in Maryland
Union Mills Homestead Historic District
Location Jct. of U.S. 140 and Deep Run Rd., Westminster, Maryland
Coordinates 39°40′14″N 77°0′58″W / 39.67056°N 77.01611°W / 39.67056; -77.01611Coordinates: 39°40′14″N 77°0′58″W / 39.67056°N 77.01611°W / 39.67056; -77.01611
Architect Shriver, Andrew; Schriver, David
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference # 71000371[1]
Added to NRHP January 25, 1971

Union Mills Homestead Historic District is a national historic district at Westminster, Carroll County, Maryland, United States. It comprises a dwelling house, a grist mill, and a Bollman-design bridge. The Shriver Homestead was built in 1797 by Andrew and David Shriver and has been continually occupied by the family. The mill, also built 1797, is a large brick structure, built of locally manufactured brick laid in both Flemish bond and common bond. On June 30, 1863, General J.E.B. Stuart of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia camped at Union Mills and was hosted by part of the Shriver family. On the following day, General James Barnes of the 5th Corps of the Army of the Potomac arrived on the site and welcomed and entertained by other members of the family.[2]

Union Mills was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.[1]

The Union Mills Homestead was home to the Shriver family for 6 generations. It is currently a historic landmark located in Westminster, Maryland, about 17 miles south of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The Homestead is now a museum of American culture, operated by the Union Mills Homestead Foundation, a non-profit foundation with all proceeds dedicated to the preservation and restoration of the Union Mills Homestead Complex.

The building of the Shriver homestead[edit]

The following passage is excerpted from "Union Mills: The Shriver Homestead Since 1797" by Frederic Shriver Klein, first published in The Maryland Historical Magazine in December 1957, and reprinted by the Union Mills Homestead Foundation.


"The Shriver brothers bought a large tract of land along Big Pipe Creek, about seven miles north of Westminster and along early roads leading into Littlestown and Pennsylvania's roads toward the west. The junction of Pipe Creek and Deep Run furnished a strong flow of water for a mill in the wide valley, and gentle slopes on either side provided land for grazing, farming or settlement. Heavy stands of black oak would furnish tanbark for a tannery, and the Shrivers knew a good bit about tanning leather. At this time, Andrew Shriver was operating a store and tavern in Littlestown, Pennsylvania, and David was practicing as a civil engineer in Maryland.

The original mill contract shows that on January 25, 1797, the two brothers completed arrangements with John Mong, a Frederick County millwright to construct "a set of mills," a grist mill and a saw mill. On March 13, Jacob Keefer and John Eckert contracted "to mould and burn a kiln of brick" for the mill, "providing 100,000 brick or more, to be paid for at the rate of one French crown for every thousand brick." The brick kiln was constructed near the creek, known in previous years as Pipeclay Creek.

The house had its origin on January 26 of the same year, when a contract was made with Henry Kohlstock of York County, Pennsylvania, for building a small double house as a residence for the two brothers. Kohlstock, a joiner, agreed "to finish two small houses 14 by 17 feet each, to be connected by a porch and passage about 10 feet wide." Each house had one upper and one lower room, with a connecting center hallway and a small porch in front, twelve by eight feet. The carpenter's bill for labor gives an interesting idea of costs in 1797:

Lower floors for small house 5 dols.
Upper floor, rough 3 dols.
Windows, casing, frames and sash 2 dols. each
Doors, casings, etc. 2 dols.each
Weatherboarding, stairs, porch, cornice seats, washboards 3 dols.
Painting 6 dols.

The total labor costs for the house came to eighty-six dollars!"

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