Remembering the Old Place Mill…

Remembering the Old Place Mill…

All Staten Island mills were meeting places where farmers could share the latest news while their grain was ground. This began in Old Place around 1804, when a tide mill was built on the Old Place Creek. According to historian Loring McMillen, the mill was near what is now the Goethal’s Bridge toll booth.

Early on the mill was owned by Judge Daniel Mersereau, but during 1811, it was up for sale. The ad read “a merchant’s flour mill… with bolts complete, and all the necessary machinery for carrying on an extensive establishment. Also, a saw mill adjoining these premises; a good dwelling house, with two kitchens, and sufficient room for the miller and cooper. A good cooper’s shop, together with 18 acres of good land; a large pond of water and the greatest plenty of oysters and fish at all seasons of the year.”

Note the mill above the words “Old Place,” 1872.

The Old Place Mill was managed by such millers as Abram Decker, Charles Wood, Andrew Prior, and Daniel and Thomas Mallet. After 1870, the mill was used to ground pigments for paint taken from the iron mines of Staten Island. It last served as a feed mill.

Information on Staten Island mills comes from various sources, but one standout source was Loring McMillen. He wrote articles about local mills in 1938, and again between 1949 and 1951. The articles were published by the Staten Island Historical Society/Historic Richmond Town in “The Staten Island Historian.”

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