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Ewing Mill

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Catalog Information

Ewing Mill
Accession Number
Date Added
5/28/2017 2:15:32 PM
Historic Building
VT Div for Historic Preservation
Collection Title
1976 Historical Survey
Collection Description
Historic Structures surveyed in 1970's
Format Description
Search Engine Type

The water-powered Ewing Mill on Walker Mountain Road was constructed on the Clarendon River by Russell Fish of Ira in 1830 for Daniel Ewing to manufacture teasels, a tool for carding wool.  Ewing had come from Pittsford and began manufacturing in Chippenhook in 1826.  Per the 1976 Clarendon history book, from 1865 - 1920 the mill was operated by John F. Keyes as a grist and cider mill.  A seven foot high dam extended across the river in the vicinity of the bridge, backing water up towards the falls.  It was also used as a swimming hole by the neighborhood kids, the bravest of whom would traditionally try the frigid water on the last day of April. 

John Keyes sold the building and water rights to Central Vermont Power some years after ceasing operations in 1920. The building was owned by Wendell Cultice at the time of the 1976 historic survey. It has since been torn down.

Details of the historic survey can be found at the link above. The photo is from the 1976 Clarendon History book.  An additional photo from the 1976 Clarendon History book can be found here and a photo from the 1976 historical survey here

Below is a photo of the mill before it was torn down, courtesy of Cindy Davis.

From our Facebook site we have recollections of this site.

Joyce Ewing Mcginnis: I remember what must have been footings to the dam near the Ewing mill.  Swam there.  I also remember what must have been the footings to the dam further up the river.

Bette Fox:  Further up the river had been the location of the John Keyes grist mill.

Joyce Ewing Mcginnis:  Alice Keyes once told me a story of a coffin mill and as a child she played there.  They would lay in the coffin and play dead.  I never knew where the mill was. 

Additional Facebook comments from 1-19-21:

Joyce Ewing Mcginnis:  The final demise of this building was after a portion of the east wall was removed to build a stone fireplace wall in a local restaurant around 1900+.  I never understood how those people were given a permit to destroy a 160+ year old historic building.  The Ewing mill stood for many years even after it was torn apart.  Finally it became so unstable it was a danger and had to be demolished. 

Liz Fox: I was told that the very large piece of marble with Daniel S Ewing and Sons imbedded in the front of the mill was removed and sent to the Smithsonian because it was an excellent example of Vermont marble. The removal accelerated the destruction of the mill. Anyone else heard this?

Phil Mandolare: Mike Mclellan told me that same story several years ago.

Liz Fox: My Mom, Bette Fox is the one who told me.

Joyce Ewing Mcginnis: Actually when that piece of marble was removed they took great care to shore that spot back up. At the time there was discussion between Italy and Vermont concerning who's marble was better and because that had a date and was over 100 yrs old it was chosen. If I remember right that had something to do with the removal. I remember vividly when that piece was removed. I was 12 or 13 yrs old. There 3 or 4 men working almost a week there.

Daniel S. Ewing & Son 1830 was engraved on the marble.

Note that in the 1954 article found in the Chippenhook Industry entry in this collection, Alice Keyes refers to her father owning more than one mill.  This would be the former Ewing Mill as noted above and the other stone mill just up the river to the south (see Stone Mill entry in this collection).  It would be that 2nd stone mill that Bette Fox is referring to.  See also the Chippenhook Blacksmith Shop entry in this collection.  Per the 1976 Clarendon history book, that was the location of the coffin factory Joyce Ewing Mcginnis is referring to. 

The undated photo at the bottom is looking south and shows the lower dam for the Ewing Mill and the ridge above. 

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