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Home > National Register of Historic Places > Historic Properties > > Recent listings > The Mill at Freedom Falls, Freedom, 1834-1962
The Mill at Freedom Falls, Freedom, 1834-1962
Date listed: 4/19/2012
Criterion A: Industry Criterion C: Architecture Local significance.
Built initially in 1834 as a gristmill on Sandy Stream in the Waldo County, Maine town of Freedom, the Mill at Freedom Falls functioned as an industrial site for 133 years. The building’s history, which includes conversion to a wood turning mill (or “turnery”) in the last decade of the 19th century, reflects the predominant land use patterns of the region and the viability of enterprises designed to serve those land uses. The mill features a traditional timber frame superstructure that housed the operating equipment, set atop a high dry-laid granite, stream side foundation that housed the waterpower system. This general composition characterized countless 19th century mills throughout the state, often making use of locally available raw materials, both in their construction and their production. Although several other mill sites were utilized in Freedom, by virtue of its height and location, this mill was, throughout its years of operation the dominant industrial structure on the landscape and remains the dominant building today. The mill at Freedom Falls was listed in the National Register of Historic Places at the local level of significance under both Criterion A, Industry, as “a property associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of our history”, and Criterion C, Architecture, as “a property that embodies the distinctive characteristics of a type, period or method of construction”. The period of significance for this property encompasses both the period of operation as a gristmill, 1834 to circa 1894, and the period of operation as a wood turning mill, from circa 1894 to 1962, shortly before operations ceased and the building was abandoned.
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