- Standard View
This mill was one of the largest mills in the country when it was built by George Frey in 1785. Today it has been converted into apartments.
George Fisher founded Middletown, the oldest town in Dauphin Co., which was at one time part of Lancaster Co. George Frey was a poor German employee of Fishers, but soon proved he had some business savvy, as he later enjoyed quite a reputation as a prominent landholder and of course grist mill builder & miller.
The mill headrace is one of the longest of any mill. It begins north of Pa 230, emerging from the Swatara Creek above the dam just upstream of the mouth of Iron Mine Creek joining the Swatara from the opposite side near where Swatara Creek Road and Iron Mine Rd. join. This section of headrace comprises about 1/3rd of the length.
The race goes by the Espenshade Mill at Fisher's Bridge on Pa 230, follows the river on the west and north side, tracking between Pineford Dr. and the river. It goes either to the north of or through Hoffer Park, then crosses under S. Race St. and then under Mill St. into the mill.
The top plaque commemorates the rebuilding of the mill in 1874 by G. & M. Mayer. The middle plaque depicts the first building of the mill in 1785-87. It staes in German: God is our all 9everything). The ground was broken on Sept. 15th, 1785 and the mill was completed on June 6, 1787, by George & Catharyn Frey, Freyburg.
This photo shows the outlet arch and the tailrace coming out of the arch. The tailrace is fairly short back to the Swatara Creek. The photographer grew up in Middletown and remembers, as a boy, regulary ice skating on the headrace near Fisher's Bridge when the race was frozen. It was unusual in that it was quite wide.