Wallace Cross Mill Historic Site

cross mill building


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Wallace-Cross Mill is a restored 1826 water-powered grist mill located near Cross Roads, East Hopewell Township.  It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.  Harry Cross, the last operator of the mill presented the building to York County in 1979. The Friends of Wallace-Cross Mill was formed in 1999 to oversee the programs at the newly restored mill.  Today the group conducts open houses at the mill from June through October, conducts fundraisers, maintains the museum gift shop and plans the future for the mill. 

The Mission Statement for Friends of the Wallace Cross Mill is:  To acquire, preserve, and protect Wallace-Cross Mill through partnerships, artifact collection, structural maintenance, and educational and exhibition activities for interpretation of agricultural history and significance for individuals of all ages. 

 In 2006, the second and third floors of the mill were opened with new displays containing mill equipment and history on local milling.  These displays further enhanced the operating mill located on the first floor. A new display on the history of the Wallace and Cross families opened in 2010.

 To keep the mill in good working condition, the Friends of Wallace-Cross Mill hired nationally-known millwright Ben Hassett to conduct a survey of the building and equipment and do repairs.  Ben and York County Parks have also designed a maintenance plan to followed to keep Wallace-Cross Mill in running order for years to come.  (See “This Old Mill” story below).

Wallace Cross Mill Flyer

Directions:

ADDRESS:  15759 Cross Mill Rd, Felton PA  17322

From Red Lion: Take Rt. 24 South from Red Lion. Turn left on Church St., travel 3.4 miles to Cross Mill Rd., turn right. Follow Cross Mill Rd. 1 mile until you reach mill on left.

From Stewartstown: Take Main St. (Rt. 24) north out of Stewartstown, turn right on Hickory Rd. and stay on Hickory until you turn left onto Cross Mill Rd. Follow Cross Mill Rd. until you see mill on right.

Location Map of Wallace Cross Mill Historic Site
View Larger Direction Map

 

 

 

Features:

  • Tours: Public open houses are scheduled June to October. For further information or to schedule a private tour, call 717-840-7440.
  • Upcoming Events: See our Events Calendar.
  • Friends Group: The Friends of Wallace-Cross Mill was formed in 1999 to oversee the programs at the newly restored mill. Today the group conducts open houses at the mill from June through October, conducts fundraisers, maintains the museum gift shop and plans the future for the mill.  For more information visit the Friends Group Webpage.  

History:

cross mill 4The mill is believed to have been constructed in 1826 and was operated continuously until the 1980's taking its water power from Rambo Run. The mill was placed on the Pennsylvania Inventory of Historic Places on February 24, 1977 and the National register of Historic Places on June 10, 1977. The mill was given to York County by the owner Harry Cross in 1979.

cross mill 1Since 1840, ownership of the mill changed only four times with one name change from the family name of Wallace to Cross. The restoration focus is the 1950 era; the pinnacle First Floor Interior of Harry Cross' career when the mill ran 24 hours a day and seven days a week. The mill's first floor, including the office, is the area open to the public. The exhibits and demonstrations appeal to all ages but especially fifth through seventh grade students of Pennsylvania history.

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A Lieberknecht mill demonstrates the milling process. A single millstone grinds the grain, and illustrates the way millstones are sharpened. A hand powered corn sheller demonstrated the removal of kernels from corn cobs.

The office gives the impression that Harry Cross stepped out for a moment. It includes a stove, miller's desk, work bench and chairs.

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The mill was originally powered by a wooden overshot wheel with wooden spokes and shaft. It was replaced by a metal Fitz water wheel, manufactured in Hanover, Pennsylvania. Fitz was the preeminent manufacturer of mill wheels in the 19th century. The original Fitz waterwheel was restored and re-installed through the kindness of Harvey Bradley. The primary function of the mill was that of a place of business. However, the mill was frequently used as a meeting place for farmers and others.