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David Jolley | profile | all galleries >> Rock Mill- Fairfield County, Ohio tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Rock Mill- Fairfield County, Ohio

Rock Mill, the first mill built in Fairfield County, Ohio was originally built in 1787 by Joseph Loveland and Hezekiah Smith. Rock Mill functioned as a gristmill and flourmill from 1824 through 1905.
Rock Mill stands 5 1/2 stories tall and rests on a blackhand sandstone foundation. The mill had a frame construction made of white oak with a red tin roof. By 1989 the lap siding was seriously deteriorated with many sections gone. Rock Mill was recently restored by Fairfield County Historical Parks.
The mill sits at the headwaters of the Hocking River. At this location there is a deep gorge incised by the river in the blackhand sandstone formation that creates a spectacular, scenic setting. The mill is positioned so that 3 1/2 stories rise above the rim of the gorge and 2 stories are below the rim. From the mill level, there is a 50-foot drop to the Hocking River.
Rock Mill was water-powered with a 26 overshot waterwheel. There was a dam above the 14' natural waterfall that created the head of water that was channeled to the mill. An incredible millrace was chiseled through solid rock just above the falls in front of the mill. The rock millrace is 30' long, 18'' deep and 3' wide. The water was transported from the millpond created by the wooden dam through the cut in the rock to the wooden waterwheel by a wooden flume. The original waterwheel and flume have long since been gone, but the carved rock millrace is still beautifully evidenced above the falls.
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