Delaware River Mill Society, PO Box 298, Stockton, NJ 08559 | P: 609-397-3586 | F: 609-397-3913 | Email
 
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Historical Information
 
 


Tours of the historic John Prall Jr. House are available Saturdays and Sundays from 1 to 4 pm
when the Craft Gallery is open
.

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Prallsville Mills Image

Prallsville Mills

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

cover of Strunk book "Prallsville Mills and Stockton"

About the Book

The Delaware River Valley has attracted industrial and political visionaries, thinkers, and artists for more than 300 years. In it taverns, political discourse fanned the flames of revolution, and its beauty has inspired artists, actors, and writers from Edward Hicks to Richard Rodgers to Dorothy Parker. In 1794, John Prall Jr. acquired a property nestled next to the river that included a corn or gristmill and a sawmill. The mills became the heart of Prallsville, a village industrial complex that would continue to function into the early 20th century. Early economic and community needs closely linked Prallsville to neighboring Brookville and Stockton, and in 1898, they incorporated to become Stockton. The vintage images in Prallsville Mills and Stockton provide a glimpse of the tenacious and generous people that survived floods, fires, and industrial mishaps to prosper in their home along the banks of the Delaware.

About the Author

Keith Strunk, a lifelong resident of the Delaware River Valley, collaborated with the Delaware River Mill Society to gather photographs for this book. A portion of the author’s proceeds from the sale of each book will benefit the Delaware River Mill Society.

Orders may be placed by calling 609-397-3586. The book also is available at the Craft Gallery. (top)

Two Local History Authors at Prallsville Mills

Prallsville Mills and Stockton history book Keith Strunk, author of "Prallsville Mills and Stockton" and James Drummond, author of "Delaware Township," held a book signing in the Grist Mill on March 6, 2010, where they shared stories of their collaboration on the photographs and stories in writing these books of local history.

"Prallsville Mills and Stockton" is available in the Craft Gallery.

Delaware Township history book

PAST EVENTS

D&R Canal Celebrates 175 years

The year 2009 marked the 175th Year Celebration of the D&R Canal, with a full year of events by nonprofit groups along the historic canal. The Mill Society kicked off the year-long celebration by hosting an art show featuring contemporary artists’ impressions and renderings of the waterway today. More information.

The Mill Society hosted the closing event of the celebration on November 12 with an evening fundraiser entitled The D&R Canal: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow featuring a lighthearted presentation by Trenton archaeologist, Dr. Richard Hunter.

D&R Canal fundraiser flyer

click above for more information

Learn about canal houses at new exhibit

Coming in June - a new exhibit featuring dozens of photos of houses along the D&R Canal. Learn about the history and architecture of residences and locktenders houses in this fascinating exhibit!

Presented by D&R Canal State Park and D&R Canal Watch and hosted by DRMS.

Look for details soon on our Facebook page.

Canal House Photo Exhibit Flyer

  
    
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© 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.
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