Feagans Mill is the last of several water-powered mills that operated on the South Fork of Bullskin Run in Jefferson County, WV prior to 1800. The remnants of two other mills do exist elsewhere in the county: the wheel of Clipp’s Mill on Evitts Run (which was restored a few years ago and is still turning) and Thomas Shepherd’s grist mill in Shepherdstown (which has been converted into a residence and is non-operational). But Feagans Mill is the only one that is complete enough to be restored to be operational. It lies in a largely agricultural area surrounded by historical houses and farms, all of which predate 1880.
The original mill on the Feagans’ site was built by the Abram Haines family between 1757 and 1760. That mill was burnt to the ground by Union forces during he Civil War by order of General David Hunter and General Phillip Sheridan in 1864. It was rebuilt around 1870 by Isaac Feagans, who had purchased one half interest in the property from the Haines family and began operating as the Haines’-Feagans’ Mill. In about 1900, Wilder Feagans purchased the remaining share from the Haines, and the mill operated as Feagans Mill until 1943, when it was shut down. During 1937, it did suffer some damage from another fire, and from 1943 to 2010, little upkeep was done to the mill and it fell into a state of disrepair, with pests infiltrating much of the building.
Acquired by the present owner in 2010, the mill is in need of minor structural restoration and routine maintenance. The plan is to conduct a full restoration of the site, ultimately resulting in a fully operational historic mill and creamery, as well as ancillary businesses, which could serve the needs of local farmers AND become a historic tourism destination. Rehabilitation of the property began in 2011 by removal of most of the accumulated refuse inside the mill and clearing of the overgrowth from the exterior. The mill is powered by a 16-by-4-foot iron water wheel, made by the Fritz Iron Foundry of Martinsburg and located on the north side of the mill. There has been some difficulty in moving forward with the project primarily related to zoning and engineering regulation concerns. It is hoped that PAWV can reduce the threat to the property by providing technical guidance to the owner as to proper historic restoration and preservation techniques and can help the owner mitigate some of the concerns of the county planning and engineering departments.