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Cosby Bros. Mill
Augusta Co. | Virginia | USA | Earlier mill c.1775, present mill c. 1900
Township: Weyers Cave Twp. | Watersource: South River.


Cosby Bros. Mill
Picture: Robert T. Kinsey 10/13/2008

It is believed that the present mill was built c. 1900. However, Ira L. Cosby in 1975 at the age of 79, explained that a mill has been located on this site for over 200 years.

Cosby Bros. Mill
Picture: Robert T. Kinsey 10/13/2008

After being purchased, the mill was operated by Philip Cosby and 3 sons. The mill prospered and was operated 24 hours a day during the harvest season.

Cosby Bros. Mill
Picture: Robert T.Kinsey 10/13/2008

Believed to be part of the contols for the turbine to power the mill. *Update: It was my grandfather, Ira L. Cosby, who bought Cosby's Mill. He moved with his family (my mother included) from New Bern, NC, to the mill in Grottoes, VA, in 1907. The ridge behind the mill is Cave Hill, the home of Grand Caverns. Philip L. Cosby was the father of Ira and it was Ira, and two of his sons, Ira Jr. and Duncan Cosby, who ran the mill. A third son, Philip R. Cosby, was the post master in Grottoes. Peggy Williams 04/13/2009*

Cosby Bros. Mill
Picture: Robert T. Kinsey 10/13/2008

What looks to be a flour packer, the black object, with the stairs to the second story curving around the corner.

Cosby Bros. Mill
Picture: Courtesy - Rockingham Co., Its Past & Present Illustrated, 1910

A vintage photo from about 1910 showing the mill in operation. The team and wagon are positioned under the hoist and the farmer in the wagon loaded with sacks and barrels is either loading or unloading. The attendant in the upper door could operate the hoist to either pull up sacks and barrels to any floor or vice-versa. Some mills had internal slides from one floor to the next, sending a sack of feed from the second or third floor to the first floor without anyone touching the sack enroute. The slides were wooden and extremely polished from burlap bags and feed dust acting as a polishing compound.

Cosby Bros. Mill
Picture: Robert T. Kinsey 10/13/2008

An old turbine with a load of black walnuts spread out on the top to dry in the sun.

Cosby Bros. Mill
Picture: Robert T. Kinsey 10/13/2008

The owner is remodeling the miller's house and is thinking about using it as a Bed & Breakfast. The woodwork is beautiful inside. The upper window has a large wooden barrel showing in the window. Water was pumped into the barrel and then gravity was used to provide the running water.

Cosby Bros. Mill
Picture: Robert T. Kinsey 10/13/2008

The Cosbys used 2 turbines and a "Roller Mill" to produce their "Jersey Lily" self-rising flour. Prior to the 1940's, the flour was sold according to "stone" weight. In 1975, I. L. Cosby used two stands of rollers to produce flour. Two pound bags of enriched, bleached, self-rising flour stated: "If it' worth baking, it's worth Cosby's Flour" and "We can't make all the good flour, but all we make is good".

Cosby Bros. Mill
Picture: Robert T. Kinsey 10/13/2008

In 2008, the present owner is remodeling the millers house and hopes to do something with the mill later. There is very little equipment left in the mill.

"Be brave and strong! Don't be afraid of the nations on the other side of the Jordan. The Lord your God will always be at your side, and he will never abandon you."
(Psalm 31:6 CEV)
Directions: Take US 340 south from Elkton about 10 miles to the town of Grottoes. Turn right onto Va 256 and go about 1 mile. Turn left onto Dogwood Ave/Sh 825 (which becomes S. River Rd.) and go 0.7 miles, then turn right onto Cosby Mill Lane/Va 770. Go back to the end of the lane, about 0.2 miles, to the mill.
 
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