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Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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19th-Century Flour Mill Unearthed in Northern Virginia

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Pioneer Mills historic photo 300x189ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA— The Alexandria Times reports that archaeologists are working at the site of Robinson Terminal South, a planned luxury condiminum and retail complex near the banks of the Potomac River. They have uncovered the foundation of a flour mill called Pioneer Mills, which dates back to 1854. At its height, Pioneer Mills produced thousands of barrels of flour a month, which were brought down the Potomac and out to the Atlantic Ocean for shipment up and down the east coast. After surviving multiple ownerships, the American Civil War, and Reconstruction, the mill was damaged by a cyclone and an interior fire in 1896. The space subsequently housed a grain warehouse, a shipbuilding facility, and an airplane engineering facility, among other ventures, before the Washington Post purchased the building. The paper sold the property to its current owners, the development company EYA, in 2013. To read more about archaeology in Virginia, go to “Letter from Virginia: American Refugees.”

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