French’s Mill is situated in the small town of Augusta, Hampshire County, WV. Augusta was established as early as 1764. Agricultural pursuits dominated much of the region. As farmers found the land to be very fertile and improved upon it, a need arose for mills to process the grain grown throughout the region.
In 1904-1905, the Gazetteer revealed that Bucklew and McDonald were the owners of the Augusta Milling Company. Sometime between 1907 and 1910, fire destroyed the facility. The Augusta Milling Company incorporated in 1911 with $10,000 in capital stock. Cha. E. French and others were listed as investors in the mill.
Dan and Cathi Hartsook, the current owners of French’s Mill, are looking for people of interest in the purchase and preservation of the mill. The “on table” selling price is 149,900.00, will be negotiable. Please visit their website frenchsmill.com for contact information, history of the mill and photo gallery.
In 1900, 428 mills were listed in West Virginia. In 1980, there were 18. Today, only four remain operable to include French’s Mill. Ref: Wonderful West Virginia Magazine, June 2016. With post and beam construction much of the building and machinery remains intact, providing a rare view into an early 20th century electric powered gristmill, both in terms of construction as well as operation.