In the 1740’s, Robert “King” Carter’s grandson, Robert Carter Nicholas, built a grist mill on the
Shenandoah, across the river from property that would later be owned by land surveyor and
speculator, George Washington. In the ensuing 250 years, the mill-site has had an illustrious
ownership, including relatives of Washington and Cyrus McCormick. There has been at least
one mill on the present site, and sometimes two: one for corn, and one for wheat. Evidence
of the previous mills, all washed away by the Shenandoah’s unpredictable floods, can still be seen.
The present mill, rebuilt in 1876 by Joseph Price and his wife, Mary, originally had four
stories and was constructed on the “Evans” plan, as was George Washington’s grist mill at Mt. Vernon.
The Prices sold the mill on, and in 1907, it was purchased by Thomas and Rosa Locke.
The present mill has always been a two-set mill, meaning that it was capable of running
tow separate pairs of mill-stones at one time. The mill-stones in use today are those that
came from Normandy, France in 1876, purchased by the Prices. Locke’s Mill was restored
by Jon and Carol Joyce, re-opening in 2013. In 2016, the mill was purchased by Sandy Lerner
of Gentle Harvest, certified organic in 2017, and processing capabilities significantly expanded
The mill grinds for a number of local bakeries and distilleries, and a grinding schedule may be
found on LockesMillGrains.com. The mill and millers welcome school groups and others
for tours by appointment. Please email [email protected] to schedule, or to inquire
about grinding services.