Source the Fraternal Order of Eagles
From a handwritten document of the stationary of Geo M. Ludwig, Strasburg, VA circ. 1907:
On the Valley Turn Pike, one mile from Fisher’s Hill and five miles from Cedar Creek, stands an old stone mill. There during the Civl War, flour was made for the citizens of Strasburg.
On the opposite side of the Pike still stands the home of the miller. There lived with the miller his old mother and his sister. This sister had sent three brothers and a husband to the cruel war with a smile on her face saying, “Go and do your duty to your state.” In a short time, however, the miller was sent home to make flour for the people of Strasburg, but he was under oath not to make a pound for the Southern soldiers.
How they watched the old mill each time the Yankees passed by! Time after time they cut the bolting cloth and each time the miller’s wife and sister mended it and kept it in readiness to make flour. Time after time they threatened to burn it, but each time the miller and his sister succeeded in saving it from the enemy’s hands. At one time the miller found huge bundles of pine placed under the eaves of the roof, one of which was lighted, and he succeeded in saving it.
At another time when the army was pressing, several Yankees entered the yard of the miller and while he was guarding the old mill they killed one of his fine hogs. But the little sister waited until the officer approached and politely asked him to order the soldiers to leave the yard, when he whipped up his horse and said, “Every fellow for himself, madam, and the Devil for us all.” Still the little woman was not daunted and waited patiently until another officer approached. To him she told her trouble, and being a gentleman he quickly ordered them to march on — not allowing them one slice of meat.
When Sheridan came down the Valley burning everything, he camped not far from the old mill. Yankees surrounded the house and it was declared that should the wagons be fired upon every house for miles should be burned to the ground. This news terrified the miller and his sister. But whie the miller stayed on guard this timid little woman asked a guard to accompany her and passed down the Yankee lines to Gen. Sheridan’s tent. Then she begged him to spare the mill for the people of the town, and he politely assured her that the mill should be saved and told her he would give her writings to show it must not be destroyed. She did not receive the writings, but the mill was again saved.
The miller has passed on to his reward, but the sister still lives and has in her possession the Testament carried during the four years by her husband.
When asked how they bore all the anxieties of the war, she smiles and says, “Oh, we trusted God.”
News Article: Spengler Mill (Ca. 1797), The Old Mill Restaurant (1938), Fraternal Order of Eagles #4186 499 Stover Avenue
The Old Mill, now under the ownership of the Fraternal Order of the Eagles #4186, will open its doors to the public for the 2022 Chrismas Homes Tours. Built between 1797 and 1804 by the Spengler family, this iconic landmark has witnessed much of Strasburg’s history from its days as a working flour mill through its many years as a beloved local restaurant and entertainment spot. During the Civil War it was saved from burning by having been requisitioned by the Union Army for the production of its flour. Remnants of the names of Civil War soldiers can still be seen written on a beam on the ground floor room. Built of local limestone, the east wall next to the overshot waterwheel was constructed of wood as it absorbed the vibration from the turning wheel and in the event of a dust explosion would explode outward, limiting damage to the rest of the building. In 1938, the Mill was bought and renovated by the George Pappas family and opened as a restaurnaat. It was in continuous operation under George Pappas, who ran it into old age along with his son, Mitchell and daughter-in-law Peggy. His first cousin, Tommy Hart, was the cook for many years. The Old Mill was the place to go for dining, dancing and community celebrations under a number of different managers for nearly seventy years. You will recognize the Old Mill from the days of old. Other than the construction of a large bar on teh ground floor built by members of the Eagles, and a few modern upgrades on the mill level, the stone walls and fireplaces, beams and orginal floors are still intact. The mill wheel is visible through a glass window on the east wall of the lower floor, and as the Eagles are committed to restoring it to working conditions, they are currently fundraising to that end. Many photographs and records of the old mill history will be on display and you will be welcomed to share your stories and memories as well.
The Fraternal Order of Eagles continue to maintain the historic integrity of the Old Mill and are fundraising to restore the water wheel. Here are some pictures of their past work on the wheel (images from their Facebook page):
Check out the following for more info on the Old Mill: