Advance Mills, Virginia

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Advance Mills
Unincorporated community
Fray House
Fray House
Country United States
State Virginia
County Albemarle
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Advance Mills
Advance Mills, Virginia is located in Virginia
Advance Mills, Virginia
Advance Mills, Virginia is located in the US
Advance Mills, Virginia
Location in Virginia
Nearest city Advance Mills, Virginia
Coordinates 38°10′59″N 78°26′19″W / 38.18306°N 78.43861°W / 38.18306; -78.43861Coordinates: 38°10′59″N 78°26′19″W / 38.18306°N 78.43861°W / 38.18306; -78.43861
Area 85 acres (34 ha)
Built 1810
Architect Tulloch, William; Dickerson, James
Architectural style Federal, Colonial Revival
NRHP Reference # 02000362[1]
VLR # 002-5024
Significant dates
Added to NRHP April 12, 2002
Designated VLR June 14, 2000[2]

Advance Mills, also known as Fray's Mill, is an unincorporated community in Albemarle County, Virginia.

It is a historic mill village dating from 1810. The community was built by the Fray family, who moved there in 1833.[3] A historic district including its area was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2002.[1][3]

The community first became known as "Advance Mills" in 1888, and the traditional story is that the name was coined by John Fray "who claimed that people frequently commented upon all the advances being made there."[3]:19

The National Register-listed area is 85 acres (34 ha) and included 18 contributing buildings and 2 contributing sites and 3 contributing structures.[1] At listing date, the district included a bridge, a dam, a millrace, and four houses.[3]

The site of the mill and the site of a general store remain; the mill itself and the supply store were destroyed by fire in the 1940s.[3]:7

Significant contributing properties in the historic district include:

  • Advance Mills Bridge, crossing Rivanna River
  • Advance Mills Supply building site, lying below what is now the Advance Mills Store
  • Advance Mills General Store
  • J. M. Fray House, the best-preserved house in the district, c. 1810
    • Schoolhouse
    • Smokehouse
    • Bank barn
    • other outbuildings
  • the Gaines Fray House (II), from 1921, an American Four Square, just south of the store on west side of 743
  • Gaines Fray House (I)
  • A. G. Fray mill site
  • Bank Barn, 1/4 mile west of Rivanna River crossing
  • Ballard House, c.1900, an "I-house"


  1. ^ a b c National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ "Virginia Landmarks Register". Virginia Department of Historic Resources. Retrieved 2013-05-12. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Peter Gardiner Hallock, Jr. and Margaret Pickart (January 20, 2000). "National Register of Historic Places Registration: Advance Mills" (PDF).  and Accompanying three photos and Accompanying map Archived November 12, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.

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