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Federalsburg in Caroline County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Exeter / Idlewild Mill

 
 
Exeter / Idlewild Mill Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, August 10, 2019
1. Exeter / Idlewild Mill Marker
Inscription.  
Exeter

Exeter is one of the oldest remaining structures in the southern part of Caroline County. According to land records, the Reverend Thomas Dill (Dell) was granted a survey certificate and patent for 50 acres of land in Dorchester County, now Caroline, on the Marshy Hope Creek of the Northwest Fork of the Nanticoke River. He named the property Exeter, in honor of the name of the beautiful cathedral back in his county seat of Devon shire, England.

The mill land was sold numerous times. In 1799, Abraham Lewis sold it to Solomon Bartlett who is believed to have built Exeter, the miller's house across the road. Later the mill and house, through various transactions, were purchased by John Elliott who became well-known for modernizing the mill. Three generations of his family were said to have lived in Exeter; they were the last of the miller residents. Finally, three generations of the White family were the last residents of the house.

In 1967, local residents Robert and Mary Holt purchased the house and began restorations to bring it back to its original architectural charm. A major
Exeter / Idlewild Mill Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, August 10, 2019
2. Exeter / Idlewild Mill Marker
Plaque is on the grounds of Exeter
renovation was accomplished in 2003 by Rudy Plutschak and his son, Alan, and electricity was added for the first time, but only on the main floor. The house remains with no indoor plumbing.

The house, "Circa 1808", was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. In December of 2011, the property was deeded to the Federalsburg Historical Society by the Holt Family Trust.

Idlewild Mill

Idlewild Mill was one of the first grist mills in the Federalsburg vicinity. Located on the North West Fork of the Nanticoke River, it was a most suitable place with its tremendous water-shed and fast down grade water power.

While courthouse records date the mill back to 1734, it is possible it was in operation before that time. Brothers Meshack Elliott and John Elliott purchased the mill in 1825. They improved the Grist Mill and added more equipment, including a Carding Machine where wool fleeces were carded and combed and made into rolls for the spinning wheels, a Saw Mill, and a Smelting Works. John Elliott is responsible for having built the dam, which improved the amount of water that powered the mill, and built a wooden bridge over the dam strong enough to withstand any kind of wagon load.

In 1858, John Elliott's son sold the mill property to John W. Brown who continued to make improvements.

In
National Register plaque on Exeter nearby image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, August 10, 2019
3. National Register plaque on Exeter nearby
Exeter
has been placed on the
National Register
of Historic Places

by the United States
Department of the Interior
Circa 1808
the mid-1890's, the mill property was finally sold to John F. Disharoon, where it was lastly known as Idlewild Mills. It was again remodeled and a power plant was constructed, which furnished the first electricity to Federalsburg and several other towns.

In 1915, the mill was destroyed by fire and was never rebuilt. The dam beside it was destroyed in the great flood of 1935 and also was never replaced. The mill property is now part of the Idlewild Wildlife Management Area, owned and managed by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.
 
Location. 38° 42.238′ N, 75° 46.58′ W. Marker is in Federalsburg, Maryland, in Caroline County. Marker is on Denton Road 0.2 miles north of Laurel Grove Road, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 410 Denton Road, Federalsburg MD 21632, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Civil War Memorial (approx. mile away); Veterans Memorial (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Historic Nanticoke Lodge Masonic Temple (approx. 0.6 miles away); Former Clubhouse at Federal Field (approx. 0.7 miles away); Marshyhope Creek Bridge (approx. 0.7 miles away); A Paradise For Smugglers (approx. 1.1 miles away); Federalsburg Hometown Veterans Memorial
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(approx. 1.3 miles away); Bethel Church (approx. 3.8 miles away in Delaware). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Federalsburg.
 
Categories. Colonial EraIndustry & CommerceSettlements & Settlers
 

More. Search the internet for Exeter / Idlewild Mill.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 11, 2019. This page originally submitted on August 11, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 48 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on August 11, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.
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