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Waterford in Loudoun County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Waterford - An Old Mill Town

 
 
Waterford - An Old Mill Town Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, December 15, 2007
1. Waterford - An Old Mill Town Marker
Inscription. Amos Janney, a Pennsylvania Quaker, settled on the south fork of Catoctin Creek around 1733. Other Quakers soon followed drawn by the fertile land. Most were grain farmers, making a mill an early priority. By the early 1740s, Janney had built a simple grist and sawmill on the creek opposite this site. A settlement grew up and was named Waterford in the 1780s. By then Scotch-Irish Presbyterians and German Lutherans had joined the Quakers, as had a few African-Americans, some enslaved but most free.

The rich soil and well-managed farms brought growth and prosperity to the Waterford area until the devastation of the Civil War. Pacifist Quakers and many like-minded neighbors remained loyal to the Union and endured repeated Confederate harassment. When rebels stripped the mill of grain and flour, owner Samuel Means raised a cavalry unit - The Loudoun Rangers - to fight for the Union. Waterford never fully recovered from the economic and social damage of the war. It steadily declined as the commercial hub for area farms.

Finally after the Great Depression of the 1930s, new life began to stur. Waterford's rural setting and historic character attracted newcommers from the expanding Washington area. People with vision began to restore dilapidated structures and preserve the old fabric of the community. In 1970 Waterford and surrounding
Waterford - An Old Mill Town Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, December 15, 2007
2. Waterford - An Old Mill Town Marker
farm land were designated a National Historic Landmark by the Secretary of the Interior.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the National Historic Landmarks marker series.
 
Location. 39° 11.427′ N, 77° 36.849′ W. Marker is in Waterford, Virginia, in Loudoun County. Marker is at the intersection of Old Wheatland Road (County Route 698) and Bond Street, on the right when traveling east on Old Wheatland Road. Touch for map. Located on a out-deck of the Waterford Mill. Marker is in this post office area: Waterford VA 20197, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Waterford Mill (a few steps from this marker); How it Works (a few steps from this marker); Independent Loudoun Virginia Rangers (within shouting distance of this marker); Mutual Fire Insurance Company of Loudoun County (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Tin Shop (approx. 0.2 miles away); Waterford (approx. 0.3 miles away); Waterford Baptist Church (approx. 0.3 miles away); Paeonian Springs Station (approx. 3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Waterford.
 
More about this marker. On the left are two illustrations:
"Mr. J. Walker's Estate" The mill, mill stables (no longer standing), old ice
Downtown Waterford image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, December 15, 2007
3. Downtown Waterford
Take away the automobiles, utility poles, and paved streets, and it is not hard to visualize a 19th century scene. The mill, and markers, are at the far end of the street. The photo was taken from in front of the Tin Shop (nearby marker) and the Corner Store.
house and the house known as "Mill end" are depicted in this 1882 drawing.

Head Race, 1894 Portions of the local head race, originally constructed in 1762, are still visible as you look south of the mill. The first mill on this site, built by Amos Janney in 1741, was probably located about one hundred feet southwest on the opposite bank of the north fork of the Catoctin Creek.
 
Also see . . .
1. Walking Tour of Old Waterford. The mill is one of many stops in this well preserved historic district. (Submitted on December 16, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

2. History of Waterford. Several articles on the history of Waterford. (Submitted on December 16, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

3. Waterford National Register Application. (PDF) Provides detailed information about the Waterford Historic District. (Submitted on December 16, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

4. From Mill Town to National Historic Landmark. National Park Service page detailing the historic site. Many photographs and illustrations comparing the town as it existed in the 19th century and it appears today. (Submitted on December 16, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

5. State Board Upholds Waterford's Historic Listing. The status of the Historic District was challenged recently. When asked if Waterford should remain on the National and State Registers, a state
The Corner Store image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, December 15, 2007
4. The Corner Store
Currently used for office space by the Waterford Foundation, this store actually sits atop a creek. It occupies a triangular lot along the main street of town.
official said, "Not only does it meet the criteria, it exceeds it." (Submitted on December 16, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceSettlements & SettlersWar, US Civil
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 16, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,106 times since then and 41 times this year. Last updated on February 22, 2008, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on December 16, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.
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