Coffeetown Grist Mill
The Coffeetown Grist Mill (7 mi. S of Easton at Coffeetown and Kressman Rds.) was entered onto the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. Text, below, was adapted from a copy of the original nomination document.
The Coffeetown Grist Mill is an 18th Century "banked stone mill, 2-1/2 stories high at the bottom of the bank, 36' x 50'. It is built of quarried limestone and covered with a slate roof. Originally. the mill was 30' x 36', with the wooden water wheel exposed to the north. In the 19th Century, the water wheel was enclosed by ex- tending the original walls and roof an additional 14'. The stone laying is distinctly different and a seam is still visible on the "east wall. The mill has walls 2' thick and two chimneys a1ong the east wall (the brick chimney to the north was added later). Much of the original mill and its 19th Century addition are still visible. However, to adapt the mill to a residence, the area around the mill was filled in up to the first loading door and so appears to be 2 1/2 stories rather than its original 3-1/2 story height. The western side has a-pair of wooden wagon doors. There is also a central entrance on the 1 story south wall, with recent additions of fence and walkway. The east wall has only windows along the 2 main stories.
In the 1920's the mill was converted into a fertilizer factory and the remains of the wooden water wheel were replaced with a smaller steel one. At that time, most of the milling machinery and equipment were removed. Some structural elements (2nd floor timbers) were replaced with steel I-beams and reinforced concrete. In the 1950's, the remaining steel water wheel was removed.
There is a datestone on the grist mill that says "I.R., 1762." The initials are for Jacob (I.) Reich, a prominent landowner of the township before the Revolution. The Coffeetown grist mill is probably the oldest of its kind in Williams Township and one of a few structures of any kind that can be dated earlier than the Revolution.
Architecturally, the mill maintains most of its original exterior of exposed stone walls and general character. It is a fine example of a grist mill, which were in large part the commercial structures of rural 18th century Pennsylvania.
The Coffeetown Grist Mill served the needs of several generations, first as a water powered grist mill, then later as a temporary schoolhouse, a post office and store, a fertilizer factory and now, as a private residence. The mill illustrates the durability and the adaptability of a fine 18th Century building.
School District: Easton Area