Allen’s Mill

restored mill

Allen’s Mill is part of DNRT’s Destruction Brook Woods property, but is accessed via a separate parking area and not connected by trail to the rest of Destruction Brook  Woods.

Location : 109 Slade’s Corner Road.

Year Acquired : 2000 (as part of Destruction Brook Woods acquisition)

Access Point : Parking area on the north side of Slade’s Corner Road, approximately 4/10ths of a mile from Russell’s Mill Village.  A very short loop trail goes around the mill building. Periodically, DNRT opens the mill building for educational tours.  (Please do not walk up or along the driveway!  It is private property.)

Volunteer Steward :

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Description

Allen’s Mill is an old grist mill acquired by DNRT when it purchased Destruction Brook Woods in 2000. Since that time, DNRT has worked with a dedicated group of volunteers who have overseen the reconstruction of the grist mill building, development of a parking area and extensive historical research on the site.

The earliest documented use of the Allen’s Mill site appears to date to 1711, although a 1926 New Bedford Standard Times newspaper article claims historic millthat a mill operated in this location as early as 1676. According to local historians, by 1784 the mill operated with an overshot wheel and this site had “the best power in the region because the water here had the highest fall.” In 1876, Elihu Howland sold the property to James Allen II, the individual whose name is associated with the mill. Allen ran the mill for 60 years until it was sold to John Sheehan in 1936.

John Sheehan began working for James Allen around 1900 and by 1919 had assumed responsibility for the management of the mill. Sheehan also began operating a sawmill, which was located adjacent to the sluiceway and just off the southeastern corner of the gristmill building. A fire in 1939 destroyed the majority of the sawmill and damaged a portion of the building that housed the gristmill. Sheehan rebuilt the sawmill after the fire. Around 1946 a gasoline engine replaced the water flow. The mill appears to have ceased operation sometime in the late 1950s or early 1960s, although the specific dates when the grist and sawmills stopped operating are unknown and may have continued sporadically after day-to-day production ended.