“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Philadelphia in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Printz's (Old Swedes) Mill

Printz's (Old Swedes) Mill Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry G Casebere, January 4, 2010
1. Printz's (Old Swedes) Mill Marker
Inscription. The first European water-powered mill in what is now Pa. was built here c. 1645 by New Sweden governor, Johann Printz. New Sweden Colony was established in 1638 and existed until 1655, when the Dutch, and later, William Penn claimed the territory. Built along the Great Minquas Path, the primitive Norse or Splash grist mill was among the first industrial sites in Pa. Its square anchoring holes remain, visible below the mill dam constructed later.
Erected 2008 by Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.
Location. 39° 55.031′ N, 75° 14.78′ W. Marker is in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia County. Marker is at the intersection of Main Street and Island Avenue, on the right when traveling west on Main Street. Touch for map. Both roads change their names at this intersection. Woodland Avenue in Philadelphia (to the east)becomes Main Street, Darby, Delaware County after crossing the Cobbs Creek border. This marker is on the roadside at the east bank of the creek; maps variously show either name, Woodland Ave., or Main St., in that block. The crossroad is Cobbs Creek Parkway north of the intersection, Island Avenue to the south. Marker is in this post office area: Philadelphia PA 19142, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least
Printz's (Old Swedes) Mill Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry G Casebere, January 4, 2010
2. Printz's (Old Swedes) Mill Marker
looking east, to Philadelphia
8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Hilldale Athletic Club (approx. ¾ mile away); In Memoriam (approx. 1.4 miles away); Tatiana Proskouriakoff (approx. 1.7 miles away); War Memorial (approx. 1.7 miles away); All U.S. War Veterans Memorial (approx. 1.8 miles away); John Bartram (approx. 2 miles away); John J. McDermott (approx. 2.3 miles away); Lansdowne World War Monument (approx. 2.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Philadelphia.
More about this marker. Marker erected Oct 18, 2008.
In the background can be seen the Blue Bell Tavern, 1766, site of a skirmish November 1777 after the fall of Fort Mifflin in which 5 Americans were bayoneted and taken prisoner.
Regarding Printz's (Old Swedes) Mill. REPORT OF GOVERNOR JOHAN PRINTZ, 1647
Report to the Right Honorable West India Company in Old Sweden, sent from New Sweden, February 20, 1647.
Writing about 1745, says,
“Again, a quarter of a mile [3] higher up, by the said Minquas' road, I have built another strong house, five freemen settling there. This place I have called Möndal,[4] building there a watermill, which runs the whole year, to the great advantage of the country, particularly as the windmill, formerly here, before I came, would never work, and was good for
Printz's (Old Swedes) Mill Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry G Casebere, January 4, 2010
3. Printz's (Old Swedes) Mill Marker
looking northwest, to Darby
nothing. Now, when the great traders,the Minquas, travel to the Dutch trading-place or house, Nassau,[1]they are obliged to pass by those two places, which (please God) hereafter shall be provided with cargoes.”
p. 122
[3] About one and two-thirds English miles.
[4] On the present Cobbs Creek near the Blue Bell Inn on the road from Darby to Philadelphia.
p. 123
[1] The Dutch Fort Nassau (1623-1651), near the mouth of Big Timber Creek, in the present Gloucester County, New Jersey.

above pasted from: Narratives of Early Pennsylvania, West New Jersey and Delaware 1630-1707 by Albert Cook Myers. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1912.
pp. 122, 123.
Also see . . .  Swedes Mill. More information about Printz's Mill and a link to information about the Blue Bell Inn on Cobbs Creek. (Submitted on September 1, 2010, by John Haigis of Darby, Pennsylvania.) 
Additional keywords. Blue Bell Inn
Categories. Colonial EraIndustry & CommerceLandmarksSettlements & Settlers
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 5, 2010, by Barry G Casebere of Upper Darby, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 1,623 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on March 5, 2010, by Barry G Casebere of Upper Darby, Pennsylvania. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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