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Abbott's Mill in a Century of Photographs


The oldest photograph of Ainsworth Abbott's mill that I am aware of. Judging by all the horses or mules, it was probably taken sometime in the 1920s, or maybe even earlier before Ainsworth Abbott bought the mill in 1919.

If anyone has other old pictures of the mill, I'd love to see them. snchilders@comcast.net


Abbott's Mill early 1920s

Abbott's Mill late 1920s

Notice that there is now a small room, probably an office, added next to the loading dock.

Abbott's Mill 1933

Probably taken during the 1933 “Chesapeake-Potomac Hurricane”.


Mary and Ainsworth Abbott 1941 (Delaware Public Archives)

Compare this with the picture from the late 1920s, the dam has now been raised about two feet. Also interesting is the metal siding that is now on the mill and was still there into the late 1960s. Several other mills in the area also used tin siding about the same time, The vehicle in front of the mill might be Ainsworth's delivery truck. To make his deliveries Abbott first had a 1929 Chevy panel truck and later a 1931 Ford panel truck, similar to these:




1929 Chevrolet delivery truck










1931 Ford delivery truck







Abbott's Mill dam ca. early '1950s (Delaware Public Archives)

Delaware Electric Coop. electrified the area between 1948 and 1951, so this picture must have been taken after that. Notice the boat house on the far side of the millpond. Mr. Abbott had a little side business going renting out boats to weekend fishermen. In 1956 a row boat could be rented from Mr. Abbott for a dollar a day.

Abbott's Mill 1965 - (Delaware Public Archives)

This is one of a series of photos taken by the state when they acquired the mill.

Abbotts Mill 1973 (Delaware Public Archives - Frank R. Zebley Photographs Box 1 Ca.1910-1954)

Abbott's Mill 1990s?

Sometime shortly before the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs renovated the mill in the early 2000's.


'Autumn at Abbotts" Festival 2016

Abbott's Mill 2021

I took this picture in February of this year, just after the exterior renovation and painting was finished. The mill and the other historic buildings are really looking good, aren't they?


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