When I was asked to photograph the Orren-Gore wedding in Virginia, I decided to turn the wedding weekend into a vacation. When I lived in Virginia, my interest in photography was not as strong as it has since become, nor did I have a really good camera, so I saw this as an opportunity to photograph some great historic sites while I had the chance. The first on my list was Beverly's Mill. When you head from Manassas to Front Royal on Rt. 66, the mill is easily seen from the highway, and it has always interested me. I contacted Frances Allshouse, the Executive Director of Chapman's Mill (the site's official name), and was able to set a time to meet her at the site and photograph it. It was fascinating! The 5-story mill was built about 1759 and served as the setting of an important Civil War battle. After the Confederates were defeated, the General in charge, rather than shipping the remaining supplies to troops, destroyed everything the mill had produced, thus straining his long relationship with Jefferson Davis. The owner of the mill was so distraught over its destruction he committed suicide. The mill was eventually rebuilt and remained in operation through World War II. Unfortunately, arsonists hit the structure in 1998 and it is now a shell of its former self - quite literally. The structure has been stabilized, however, and funds are currently being raised for its eventual restoration and rehabilitation into a historic site and recreation area. In addition to the mill, Ms. Allshouse took us to a neighboring nature preserve to show us the ruins of the original miller's house and an open stone pit that served as the icehouse.
You may notice duplicates of the same photo, but if you look closely you will see some obvious (and some not-so-obvious) differences between them.