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Race Street and Rte 322
Downingtown, PA  19335
610.280.3474
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Roger Hunt Mill Townhomes

History

 

Historical Background / Architectural Description

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Roger Hunt Mill Complex consisted of a mid-eighteenth century mill and miller’s house, the main farmhouse and a mid-nineteenth century tenant house. This mill, with its supporting building, is the only eighteenth-century mill complex still standing in the Downingtown Valley. Original owner, Roger Hunt, collected supplies for the mill’s construction during the French and Indian War. The mill continued to serve as grist and feed mill until the early twentieth century.  Along with the mill complex buildings, Beaver Creek is also located on the 15 acre property before it empties into the East Branch of the Brandywine Creek.

The two-story grist mill is approximately 30’6” by 48’and is constructed of coursed fieldstone.
It has a gambrel roof covered with wood shingles and a later dormer on the south elevation. Although much of the material is now missing, at one point the mill was stuccoed. Various frame and concrete additions have been added and removed from
the north elevation during the past century.



The miller’s house consists of a one-and-a-half story 18’ by 18’ structure with a one-story frame addition of 18’ by 12’. Speculators perceive that this building may even pre-date the mill. The house, like the mill, is also made of coursed fieldstone and has a gable roof.


The tenant house that still remains today, which was designed in the Greek Revival vernacular style, is two-and one-half-stories and dates back to the mid-nineteenth century. It has a stone foundation and measures 24’ by 16’ while the rear ell, divided into two sections, measures 16’ by 16’ and 16’ by 7’. The building is currently being removated both inside and out.

Historic Overview

  • c. 1700 First miller’s house constructed by Daniel Smith
  • 1729 Race Street was laid out as part of the Paxtang Road, with ford across Brandywine at east end of Race Street
  • 1739 Rodger Hunt purchases property and constructs mill
  • 1760s Downingtown becomes industrial center of Chester County
  • 1777 During Revolution, a munitions magazine was created at Downingtown
  • During the British advance towards Philadelphia, Gen. Washington dispatched two units to Downingtown to prepare defensive earthworks or redoubts to protect the magazine and mills. The soldiers created the redoubts on the Tabas property- the first redoubts created in Chester County
  • 1802 Lancaster Avenue bridge constructed; redirects most traffic away from Race Street ford across Brandywine

Historic Resources once located within the boundary

  • Daniel Smith House (c. 1700): two-story bank building on Borough parcel
  • Roger Hunt Mill (c. 1740): partial ruin located on Borough parcel
  • Second miller’s house (by 1739): two-story building constructed in three campaigns, located on Tabas parcel
  • Tenant House (c. 1830): three-story Greek Revival building located on the Tabas parcel
  • Stone barn ruin, located on the Tabas parcel
  • Redoubts (1777), located on the Tabas parcel

 

The cannon redoubts are located behind the original farmhouse and grist mill locations and are still preserved.  As one of the first recognized redoubts in Chester County, they were built at the request of General Washington during the Revolutionary War to protect the site from a possible attack by the British.

Follow our progress at our construction progress and models pictures pages. It's time for you to reserve your own piece of history at Roger Hunt Mill Townhomes, where quality construction and wonderful amenities combine for an outstanding value - contact us today!