North River Mills, West Virginia
A village forgotten by time, but not by us.

A Photographic Tour


Our Little Village


North River Mills lies in the gap of the mountain formed by Hiett Run which drains from Sandy Ridge and Grape Ridge. The run was once called Parker's Run for Thomas Parker and early settler who had a farm across the river. His place appeared on the Fry and Jefferson Map of 1751 on the great wagon road running from Winchester to the South Branch River and on to Fort Cumberland. The land in the gap allowed little space for growing crops, but the stream gave power for a mill. There was also a mill (Snapp Mill) on the North River just below the junction with Hiett Run. In the twentieth century there was a gasoline powered mill. Thus the village was named for its several mills.

 

 

The people who own this old home once traveled far away across the Pacific searching for peace and solitude and happiness, but found that it is only available here in our wounderful village. They returned to continue dancing in the street, giving tours of Ice Mountain and camping on the hill.  It is rumored that the house is haunted by two beautiful young women who once roamed her, but finally left for a life of learning at college.  This wonderful old house was once an inn and is said to be haunted by a wayfaring stranger who died here one night.

The house was home to the Miller family; Johnny B. Miller (20-May-1808) - (21-Mar-1886) was the postmaster. William, his son (1845) - (1922), was the sheriff, and his son, Charles Love Miller (1894) - (1983), was named "Keeper of the Keys". Charlie was also the local story teller.
 

The Audra Croston home is now getting a face lift (and foundation lift) from its new owners who are also refurbishing the small barn nearby. This house was originally built (perhaps by Charlie Harmison) for Flora McDonald, mother of Audra Croston and Wilma Miller. At one time it was used as the Post Office.

 

 

North River Mills Methodist ChurchThis is the North River Mills Methodist Church. The land for this church was given by the Miller family in the late 1800s. Although the community is small, there is a congregation that meets here every second and fourth Sunday of the Month and on special occassions. It is a wonderful place to worship the Lord and enjoy the fellowship of this wonderful community. Services are at 2 p.m. during standard time and at 7 p.m. during daylight savings time. Yo'all come visit.

 

This is the stencilling from the Methodist Church in North River Mills. 

The stencils in the church were done by itinerant craftsmen?


 
 

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This is the old store in the village.  It later became the Post Office for the village and surrounding area.  The Old Store was originally a log house that was expanded to hold the store and Post Office.

 

This is the newest house in North River Mills Yellow Househaving been built sometime in the 1930s. Currently it serves as the home of The North River Mills Society for Antiquarian Arts and the Diffusion of Knowledge. It has a few architectural features that are somewhat unusual. The two front windows on the first floor are "one-half over one" pane windows with quite large panes. These windows as well as the wood on the floors have prompted some people to believe that the house may have been a package kit from Sears Roebuck or some such package. In any case, today the house serves to help visitors to learn about our delightful village and the stories of its inhabitants over the past two hundred and fifty years.

 This is our Headquarters on Google Maps; it is now painted white.


The Hiett house at the west end of the village facing the river.

 

Perry Gess was a stone mason who apparently built a kiln to make the lime for his mortar.  In the old days hauling lime from a distance was very difficult.The lime kiln of Perry Gess is east of the village on the road up to Grape Ridge.  The stream in the background is Hiett Run which soon is met by the waters of Craik Spring. The local name for this spring was "Craig", but this is a corruption of the name of the original grantee, Dr. James Craik. Craik was a friend of George Washington and he served under Washington in boht the French and Indian War and in the Revolutionary War. The spring was mentioned in Dr. Craik's land grant.

Please note that we have more pictures of specific buildings of the village on the main North River Mills page. Check there for more tours.

 

 

 

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We hope that you have enjoyed this peek through the window of time into the charm of our little village. Please come and visit sometime and let the busy rush of modern life fade into a distant memory as you think back to times gone by.

 

 


 

 

 

interpretative sign erected May 2010

    This is the interpretative sign erected on North River Mills Day 2010 that tells a bit about the history of our village. The physical labor was contributed by a number of the folks who came to enjoy our special day. We thank them for their labor. We also especially thank Buck O'Brien (leaning on the sign to the left) for his carpentry skills. His help was invaluable in making the wooden frame for the sign. 

    To see Aerial Photos of the area, click here !

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2001 Charles C. Hall.
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updated: 11/20/11
www.northrivermills.org