Michael O. Bourne
K.B. Fletcher's Mill
Cabin Creek Hurlock Road, Cabin Creek, Dorchester County
When constructed in the 1850s, Fletcher's Mill consisted of a 2-story, gable-roofed structure. The outline of this 20' x 30' structure can be seen in the massive oak sills encased within the frame of the existing structure. The sills, although elevated on brick piers on the south and west side of the building, are beginning to deteriorate because of their construction close to the mill race and water wheel areas, which have overflowed and caused the ground to become excessively wet in this well-shaded area. Around 1900 a third floor was added to the main structure and a 15', 2-story gable-roofed addition was built on its eastern side. The shed portion of this addition, the remains of which still exist at the northeast corner, also stretched at one-story level along the northern side of the building. This has now collapsed. Remains of the 20th century saw milling equipment and the water wheel base exist at the northwest corner of the building. The west facade of the building is two bays wide, consisting of a door in the south bay of the first floor, and 6/6 sash windows in the remaining bays on all three floors. The south gable end is three bays wide, and contains a door in the approximate center of the second and third floors, each flanked by windows. A single window pierces the attic gable. The north gable end is also three bays wide, with a door in the second floor west bay, once covered by the shed-roofed porch which also sheltered the north facade of the east wing. The center bay contains a window on this level, and a smaller window occupies the west bay. The third floor contains a single window in the east bay. The east wing, with a small interior chimney rising from the south slope of the east gable end of the roof, was two bays wide, with two windows on the second floor, one off-center in the attic, and a single opening in the north bay of the first floor. The shed roofed north addition contained no east windows. The roof is covered with flat seamed tin. The original building was clad in 1" x 8" or 1" x 10" sheathing covered with lap siding. In the 1900 addition, boards were laid at a 45 degree angle to act as insulation and then covered with lap siding on the exterior. The building is in an advanced state of decay, exposing the diagonal boards in the east wing.
Except for the brick Higgins Mill, K.B. Fletcher's Mill is the only water-powered grist mill remaining in Dorchester County. Although the mill exists today in deteriorated condition, the majority of its structural members are intact. The mill also retains a wide variety of milling equipment dating from the 1850s to the early 20th century. This group is a well-preserved collection of the mill machinery of this period.