In this first segment of My Virginia, we have taken a side trip to the Aldie Mill Historic Park, in historic Aldie, Virginia. There we met Tracy J. Gillespie, the Historic Site Supervisor, who pointed out the way around the grounds to us. She also provided us with a lot of useful literature to guide us in our tour. My 92-year old father-in-law, Hugo Cardel, accompanied me and my photographer (Joe Jr.) around the site complex.
There we met Capt. John Moore, the director of the mill, who explained the history of the site and the significant part it played in ‘The Battle of Aldie’ during the Civil War. The mill is actually operational and is fed water to turn the dual mill water wheels from a damn about three-quarters of a mile away. The captain was dressed in a re-enactors costume of the day as was Miss Collette Carmouche, who was the tour guide on the third floor of the mill. Mike Devine (the miller) was also in period dress, and explained the way the mill work with an excellent working demonstration.
We also met Virginia Senator Dick Black and his grandson, Matt Staten, who were on tour during the mill’s opening days. The senator hails from Virginia’s 13th District, and was very impressed with the mill’s operation. The mill consisted of several buildings which included the Commercial Mill building, The Granary ( which doubled as the gift shop/ office), and the Country Mill, which local farmers used for personal needs, such as flour and livestock feed.
The Arts and Entertainment Magazine highly recommends visiting the Aldie Mill Historic Park for it’s rich history and beautiful surroundings. There are also many antique shops nearby to satisfy the curiosity and desires of the ‘day-tripper’. The park is located at 39401 John Mosby Highway, Aldie, Virginia 20105. They can be reached at (703) 327-9777 for their hours of operation.
Pictures by Joseph O’Donnell IV