Photo credit: Don Cook , 03/2002

Property Name: Cecil's Mill Historic District
Date Listed: 1/30/1978
Inventory No.: SM-298
Location: Indian Bridge Road (MD 471), Great Mills, Saint Marys County

Description: The Cecil's Mill District includes four buildings: Cecil's Mill, Cecil Store, the Cecil Home, and Old Holy Face Church. Cecil's Mill is a 2 1/2 story wood framed, tin-roofed structure with clapboard and corrugated tin siding. Constructed about 1900, it was originally a 2 1/2 story rectangular building with cellar. Several shed additions of one and two stories had been added since construction. The foundation retains some of the original stone and brickwork from the 1826 Clifton Factory as well as the original drive and gearing. On the north side of the mill is an unsheltered saw mill with the tracks, carriage, and gearing intact. This mill was used until 1959 and the interior grist mill until the early 1940s. Across the street on the east side of Indian Bridge Road stands the store, house, and Holy Face Church. The store is five bays long with a two-bay shed-roofed addition on each end and is 2 1/2 stories high. It is also three bays deep with a two-bay addition which extends across the rear of the building for a total of nine bays. The roof is gabled with corbeled exterior chimneys flanking each end of the original five-bay structure, and has a large cross gable with a 6/6 sash window. A one-story porch extends the entire length (nine bays) of the front facade of the building with double door entrances in the center of the building and in each addition. The first floor is of open bay construction except for the former post office on the north end. (This post office retains most of the original office equipment including pigeon holes.) The second and third floors are partitioned into rooms. This building was constructed in the 1920s and is a good example of a rural store. The Cecil Home is north of the store on the same side of Indian Bridge Road. It was constructed in the late 1800s and is five bays long by three bays wide and 2 1/2 stories high. The house has two additions at the rear, one 2 1/2 stories and the other 1 1/2 stories. The house with the additions is L shaped. A one story porch extends across the front with a dormer above and corbeled chimneys at the roof peak. The siding is clapboard and the gable roof asphalt shingled. This house was constructed on the site of the tavern and served as an inn as well as the home of the Cecils. To the north of the house separated by a small field is a barn and the Old Holy Face Church. This 2 1/2-story frame church, two bays wide by three long, was abandoned in the 1940s.

Significance: Cecil's Mill Historic District is of interest for two reasons: its historical use as a mill site, and the existence of the c. 1900 mill and related buildings presently on the site. The Clifton Factory was the first and only attempt to establish industry in St. Mary's County until the 20th century. The "Factory" area has been the site of milling establishments since before the Revolution with the "Great Mill" about a mile downstream and the "Indian Bridge Mill" about a quarter mile above. The area was not only an economic center in the St. Mary's County community but a cultural one as well.


Boundary Map

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