Evans-Mumbower Mill now has flowing water
Once scores of mills lined the banks of the Wissahickon Creek using and reusing the Creek's water to power industries which sawed wood, made paper, ground grain, and manufactured felt. Today nearly all of these buildings are gone, having been destroyed or converted to other uses. WVWA's Evans-Mumbower Mill still stands, preserved and open to the public, offering a glimpse into the past. A visit provides an understanding the history of an old Wissahickon mill and how important such buildings were to the Wissahickon Valley economy.
While the present Evans-Mumbower Mill appears to date to the early 1800's, records indicate the construction of a saw mill and fulling mill by Abraham Evans in 1745. The mill changed hands several times in the late 1700's. It was reported to have been demolished and then a new mill built sometime in the late 18th century. The present building has a date stone of 1835; however, this may indicate a time of renovation or new ownership. The mill was acquired by Henry Mumbower in 1858, and a member of that family operated the grist mill until around 1930. For more information about families associated with the mill visit our Mill Families page.
Evans-Mumbower Mill reflects its times and the people who used it. The present structure operated as a mill for nearly 100 years. It was an industrial building and as such shows signs of the technological changes which took place during its lifetime. Originally powered by a water wheel, in later years it was run by a steam or gasoline engine. Other changes in machinery and layout are evident as well.
For years the Evans-Mumbower Mill sat abandoned and deteriorating, rain pouring in through its rotted roof. In 1984 the Towamencin Historical Society acquired the mill and initiated repairs. In 1987 was passed to the Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association, who brought the Mill back to life by rebuilding the Miller's office, installing a 10' overshot water wheel, repairing the bolter and replacing the cedar shake roof. In 2008, the mill property was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Today the Mill is open and interpreted for the public on a monthly schedule from April to November. Thus, the process of preserving this piece of local history continues. Read more about the Evans-Mumbower Mill restoration here.
InterloperReturns.pdf The story of James Althouse, who explored the mill as a boy in the '60s.
WhoSaysYouCantGoHome.pdf A story by Kirk Horstman about the great-great-grandchildren of Henry Mumbower, who still live in the area, visiting the mill.
LedgersReturnedToMill.pdf After 80 years, ten ledger books were returned to Evans-Mumbower Mill in Upper Gwynedd on Sunday, May 15. More photos can be found here. Included are images of three paintings by Marvin G. Detweiler on loan to WVWA for the event.