|Delaware River Mill Society, PO Box 298, Stockton, NJ 08559 | P: 609-397-3586 | F: 609-397-3913 | Email|
Daniel Howell built a wooden grist mill at the juncture of the Wickeckeoke Creek and the Delaware River circa 1720. It prospered under a succession of owners through the 18th Century and was sold to John Prall, Jr. in 1794.
Prall launched a development program that included a new stone grist mill to replace the wooden one that Howell had built. He also built a saw mill, several stone houses and a stone structure that served various purposes (including an office and a store.) Prall opened a stone quarry in the area and operated two fisheries in the Delaware River, making the community of Prallsville a major commercial center for the rural countryside.
Throughout the 19th Century, Prallsville remained an important commercial center. When the grist mill caught fire and was severely damaged in 1874, it was rebuilt and reopened for business by 1877.
The present stone mill, the 1877 building, was built on the foundation of Prall’s mill and continued to function into the 1950’s.
In the 1950’s the property, no longer used as a mill, began to deteriorate. It was put up for sale as an attractive site for townhouses. A local resident, Donald Jones, purchased the site in 1969 and held it until the State could afford to purchase it in 1973.
The Prallsville Mills were included on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. The entire property became part of the D & R Canal State Park in 1974.
In 1976 when the State of New Jersey was unable to fund the restoration of its newly acquired Prallsville Mills, local citizens formed Delaware River Mill Society and obtained a long-term lease which gives the Mill Society the responsibility to “restore, preserve, operate, maintain and interpret” the site.
The grist mill’s foundation has been rebuilt and new structural posts and beams were installed. Original mill machinery is on display. Recently the upper floors were cleaned and lit. A kitchen, an office and lavatories were built in a former lumber shed in 1994. The old wagon shed was restored to serve as the Delaware and Raritan Canal Commission office.
The Linseed Oil mill, thought to be the best preserved oil mill in the Mid-Atlantic region, had major structural repairs. It currently functions as an Art Gallery for local artists.
Grounds were landscaped and the power train was cleared of decades of debris and silt. Fifteen miles of an abandoned railroad line that runs from Lambertville to Frenchtown and passes through the Mill site have been converted into a popular recreations trail.
Delaware River Mill Society’s goals are more than architectural. The Mill has become a place of cultural and environmental events attracting wide spread participation. Concerts, art exhibitions, antique shows, holiday parties, school fund-raiser auctions, meetings, as well as private parties, are a source of income for restoration and maintenance of the site.
All of these projects take time, effort, money and imagination. We invite your interest and help. Each of us has a part to play in saving a segment of our past and making it a part of the future. (top)
Learn more about the history of this Nationally Registered Historic Site and the families that lived here
Click on a link below to see a written timeline of the selected era (PDF file)
Prall Family Website
Learn more about the Prall Family at the Prall Family Association Genealogy Site.
Tunison Family Tree
If you are interested in seeing how members of the Prall, Ely, Farley and Coryell families were related through the family tree of Cornelis Tunison and Neeltje Bogart you can view the Tunison family tree. (thanks to Tim James) (top)
New Book Provides Vintage Images of Prallsville Mills and Stockton
Two Local History Authors at Prallsville Mills
D&R Canal Celebrates 175 years
|© Copyright 2003 Delaware River Mill Society |
Updated by Delaware River Mill Society
Photos by Mill Members JamesLucas, Scott Maddux, and Edie Sharp unless otherwise noted.
Site designed by James Lucas & EdieSharp