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Tredyffrin History Digital Archives
1887 Atlas with annotations
Hammer Hollow is located near the source of Trout Creek between Valley Forge and West Valley Roads. The mills of Hammer Hollow have a varied history with their use changing frequently during their lifetime. The first mention of a mill is in 1783 when Jacob Sigler was taxed for a saw mill. He was not financially successful in operating the mill and it was sold in a Sheriff’s sale to Benjamin Rowland in 1787. This is the third mill in Tredyffrin that the Rowland family owned, the others being the Great Valley Mill and St. Peter’s Mill.
Rowland added a Grist Mill. He then split the tract, which was originally 300 acres in extent, and sold the mill property to William Cooper in 1793. John Souder leased the mills from Cooper and added a Fulling Mill. The 1798 Glass Tax records show a stone grist mill, 26’ by 18’, a stone fulling mill 24’ by 18’, and a sawmill.
The mill tract was then split into separate properties. The grist mill was acquired by Charles Thatcher and after his death the property was advertised in the Daily Republican of the 27th August 1833:
Pursuant to an order of the Orphans Count of Chester County, will be exposed to public sale, on Saturday, the 21st September next, a certain messuage plantation and tract of land late the property of Charles S. Thatcher, deceased, situate in the township of Tredyffrin, county of Chester, bounded by the lands of Devault Beaver, Wm. Campbell, Jonathan Moore, and others containing 33 acres and 140 perches more or less. The improvements are a log house 3 rooms on a floor, stone kitchen, an excellent spring of water and spring house, near the dwelling, a large stone grist mill, log stable.
Alexander E. Findley, Guardian
Elijah Priest purchased the fulling mill in 1802 and converted it to a tilt mill. This mill was then acquired by John Snyder where he manufactured sickles. He posted the following advertisement in the Daily Republican of the 24th December, 1833:
… Tilt and grinding mill, a comfortable dwelling house, part stone part frame, new stone barn, and a lot of land containing 4 acres ... apply to John Miles living there or John Snyder, Gwynedd township.
Thomas Brown purchased the property in 1847 and installed and operated a lathe. The business was later described as a turning mill and then a bobbin factory. On the 17th March 1854 the factory of William Cundy caught fire:
the spool and bobbin manufactory of William Cundy, at a place called Hammer Hollow, was discovered to be on fire … the whole building including turning lathes, machinery steam engine, tools, finished and unfinished material etc. were destroyed. (Daily Republican, 3/28/1854).
William Cundy continued operating the factory until his death in 1876. The property was then acquired by William Colket. The factory is last shown in the atlas of 1887. Franklin Burns discusses some aspects of the operation in his article on Local Textile Mills (incorporated in Myrtle Wandless’ article).
The author would like to thank Tucker Moorhead for helping to sort out the complexities of this mill site.
A detailed timeline for the Mill(s)