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Example #1 Pennsylvania Historic Resource Survey Form, Form Information for an Old Mill.


Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission
Bureau of Historic Preservation

Survey Code/Tax Parcel/Other No.
County: Cumberland (04)
Municipality: West Pennsboro Township
Address: 1207 West Creek Road, Carlisle, PA 17013



Number: 1 (photo)
Description of View: 3/4 View. Diller-Heishman's Mill
Direction of Camera: S.W.

Number: 2+ (photos)
Description of View: Additional plans, measured drawings, floor plans with inventory sheets and photographs attached.

Photographer Name: William Foshag
Date: 1998-2000
Negative Location: 1207 Creek Road, Carlisle, PA 17013


Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission
Bureau of Historic Preservation


Survey Code: 35-253
Tax Parcel/Other No.: 46-07-0477-008
County: Cumberland
Municipality: West Pennsboro Township
Address: 1207 Creek Road, Carlisle, PA 17013
Historic Name: Diller's Mill, Milldam (Mill Dam), and Millpond (Mill Pond) Site
Other Name: Heishman's Mill, Milldam, and Milllpond Site
Owner Name/Address: William F. Foshag, 1206 Creek Road, Carlisle, PA 17013
Owner Category: Private
Resource Category: Site
Number/ Approximate Number of Resources Covered by this Form: 3
USGS Quad: 1. Plainfield, PA
UTM A. 18 303081 Easting
References: B. 18 4453866 Northing


Historic function Category: .............Subcategory:...... Code:
A. Agriculture/Substance..........................Processing..............0-9-A
B. Industry/Processing/Extraction............Waterworks............1-0-C
C. Industry/Processing/Extraction............Energy Facility.......1-0-D

Particular Type:
A. Agriculture/Grist Mill
B. Industry/Waterworks/Dam
C. Industry/Waterworks/Pond

Current Function Category:... Subcategory:................... Code:
A. Domestic....................................Secondary Structures...........0-1-C


Architectural Classification:
A. Grist Mill 8-0
B. Other-Milldam 8-0
C. Other-Millpond 8-0

Exterior Materials:
Limestone 4-3
Roof: Metal 5-4
Walls: Limestone 4-3
Walls: Weather board 2-1
Other: Concrete 6-5
Other: Wood Timber 2-0

Structural System:
1. Masonry
2. Timber--Post & Beam 1-3
Width: 44 H
Depth: 57 F
Stories/Height: 4 - 4 1/2 D


Year Built: Circa 1800 Circa 1808
Additions/Alterations Dates: Circa 1920 Circa 1922
Explanation: Deeds, tax records, contract-lease, inventories, sale notices, road dockets--views and physical architectural style.

Cultural/Ethnic Affiliation:
1. Pennsylvania German
2. Mennonites

Associated Individuals:
1. Francis Diller (Jr. & Sr.)
2. Wilhelm Schimmel

Associated Events: (blank)

Architects/Engineers: (blank)

1. Diller
2. Mennonites


Tax Assessment Records, 1800-1880; Direct Tax of 1798; Wills Index: HP247, LP323; History of Cumberland County, Wing: 1879, P. 268. 1858 Map Cumberland County; 1872 Beers' Atlas, Wolf Co. Catalog--Flour Mill Machinery, No. 22, 1922; Flower, ME. "Shimmel...Woodcarvers," 1965; etc.


PHMC. Pennsylvania Inventory of Historic Places, Ed Weintraub, Dec. 1, 1977.
Pennsylvania Historical Resources Survey Form, Survey Code 35-253, N. Van Dolson, Nov. 1985.
Various Inspections, on-site visits by PHMC Staff Members, 1970-200.


Threats: Public Development
1. Removal of milldam; destabilizing mill structure. Programs mainly driven by U.S. EPA, Chesapeake Bay Program, with concurrent efforts by PFBC and PA DEP to implement. Other Federal agencies support. 25 plus milldams currently threaten or removed in Pennsylvania under this program. Ref. "an appeal," 12/20/93.


Surveyor Name/Title: William F. Foshag/Owner
Project Name: Diller-Heishman Mill, Milldam, and Millpond Site.
Organization: (blank)
Telephone: (omitted in this format only)
E-Mail: (not required on original form)
Street and No.: 1206 Creek Road
City, State: Carlisle, Pa
Zip Code: 17013
Additional Survey Documentation: Plans, maps, photos, indices, drawings.
Associated Survey Codes: 35-253 (Ref. 35-02)


Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission
Bureau of Historic Preservation

Survey Code:
Tax Parcel/Other No.: 46-07--477-008
County: Cumberland
Municipality: West Pennsboro Township
Address: 1207 Creek Road, Carlisle, PA 17013
Historic/Other Name: Diller's Mill, Milldam, and Millpond Site/Heishman's Mill


Diller's Mill sits astride a narrow area of land bounded on the north by the Conodoquient Creek, an don the south by the old Creek Road (T-427). The mill building retains a great amount of architectural integrity. All of the mill's machinery remains in place and intact. The dimensions of the central mill building are 44 feet by 57 feet. In 1922, an engine room was added to the west wall. At that same time, the sawmill building off of the east elevation, was removed and an office/storeroom constructed in that area.

The main mill building is of an unusually mixed wall construction, reflecting damage or failure by flood, fire, or ice. The south and eastern walls are characteristic random course limestone masonry. The north walls are, in part, wooden drop siding over heavy mill timber framing.

Diller's Mill, in its physical description is best characterized as a rural mill serving both a custom and merchant trade, which was worked hard over its commercial life. The changes and additions of exterior structure and general fenstration reflect adaption to its long milling activity. The present site, of the mill, dam, and pond, is that of a system of the time 1920-22. At this time, the mill exterior and interior, now reflects that last major system. Stylistic analysis of the central mill, however, dates the building to circa 1820.

Of the greatest interest is the fact that the mill, milldam, and lower millpond still remain intact as a unified system bounded within the one property parcel. The milldam with its nominal fall of about 6 feet and some 160 feet in length spans the Conodoquinet Creek. It is a classic example of a timber crib milldam as described by Leffel. Its durability may be attributed to the fact that a major concrete bulkhead was added to the face of the dam (1920). Several faces of concrete skin have been layered over the upstream timber slanted apron. Like the crib dams of the 19th century, the interior crib is stone filled. This configuration of dam, especially when built to low heights (5 to 10 feet) is very forgiving, enduring, hydraulic structure. This type dam is one of the last in the Central Cumberland Valley area.

The overall millpond extends from the crest of the dam up to the toe water about 2 1/2 miles. The "working pond" within control of the mill, and bounded by the property, extends about 1/4 of a mile upstream and contains about 15 acre feet. A run-of-the river dam with its mill intact is very unique feature in this central region. The watershed above the dams is 310 square miles.

The completeness of the site is unique for the area in that the milldam, millpond, and tailrace are presently intact, thus integrating the hydraulic and powering features with the working structure of the mill building and milling process.

The additions of the office, storeroom, and engine room reflects Heishman's serious commitment to bring the mill into the twentieth century merchant mill business. This was a major economic effort to abandon the "worn out" and obsolete characteristics of Keiter's Mill with its burr stones, breached dam, tub wheels, (1) and a limited merchant and custom trade.

Ben Heishman with the purchase of the mill which had been modernized with then modern turbines, an auxiliary engine system, for stands of rolls, product storage areas, a full office reflects total commitment to modern milling production and business-like operation.

The technical and architectural "jump" is a clear mark in an abrupt transition from the old burr system to the modern roller mill. Although Heishman's Mill carried on through World War II, its small capacity and the post-war economics of flour marketing and the death of B.F. Heishman (1947) brought an end to the production of flour milling at this site. Market forces, major competition from the large mid-western mill factories, state sanitary requirements, kitchen making techniques by the housewife brought an end to the small country mill such as this one. The mill did continue on with an irregular effort to produce animal feeds under Neuhauser and Wright, but production also came to an end around 1958, and the business closed.


Background information, physical clues, oral and local histories, deeds, scriveners records, surveys, and tax records indicate that Diller's Mill and dam were probably under construction by the end of the 18th century, and were positively on the tax rolls in 1808. The mill was operational in 1806-07.

The original land was granted to Robert Buchanon by a Blunston License in 1734.

Passing through several owners, this now divided grant was mortgaged to Frantz Dieller (now Diller) in 1793. By 1807, Diller, now up in age, had his mill in operating condition. He presumably build the mill for his son, also Francis, when he became of age. In Early 1807, Diller leased the new mill to the miller Henry Snyder. The leases still exist and describe the contents of the grist, plaster, and sawmill in detail. (2) It also describes the duties of the miller. Since the mill project by Diller, the Elder, was launched when he was in his middle 60's and on the point of retiring, it is reasonable to conclude that it was an investment of surplus cash. The mill was also taxed in 1805 on the operation of two sills, one of 120 gallons capacity and another of 70 gallons capacity, and a sawmill.

The last few years of Francis Diller's life can be reconstructed to some extent from the arrangements that he made in 1807 for the operation of his two properties, the mill and the farm. Henry Snyder, the miller, received a third of the toll grain and cash revenue from the operations of the mill; Francis Diller received two-thirds. Francis Diller kept the mill in repair and furnished the miller and his "hand or hands" with food and lodging and a stable. From the farm, which was leased to his son with all necessary equipment, Francis Diller took half the products, including grain, flax, and cider, and he paid the taxes. He was apparently still active for the lease provided that whenever the father wanted to use the horses and a wagon he might do so but must feed the horses.

The migration of the Diller family and brothers into the creek side area in Frankfort and West Pennsboro Townships, in the late 18th century, was the beginning of the initial movement of Swiss Mennonites from Lancaster County into the Cumberland Valley, and, in quick order, into the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. To this day, the stock is strongly populated throughout this "Great Valley." Francis Diller also established the Diller Mennonite Church about three miles westward from his mill. This church (PHRS Survey Code 35-02) is still very active today.

With the death of Diller Sr., in 1814, the operation of the mill passed to his son who was known locally as Diller the Miller. Francis Jr. operated "my merchant and sawmill" until his death in 1845 (as stated in Diller's Will/Contract).

With the passing of Francis, Jr., the native of the mill's production underwent a significant change. Original road views describe the opening of a road directly from the mill south to the Hanover Road in Mount Holly Springs. From this point (Routes 34 and 94), now as then, the road ran directly south to Hanover and Baltimore. This route, until the coming of the railroad, was a major wagon road to Baltimore markets and harbor. This was a principal transportation axis from the south central valley "flour shed" through the Baltimore commercial center. Portions of the feeder road from the mill to the Mount Holly Springs and Hanover routes have long been legally abandoned. However, with the building of the nearby Cumberland Valley Railroad, the wagon haulage to Baltimore stopped. The depot at Keersville (Alterton), about three miles to the south, changed the nature and range of the sales of the mill's merchant products. At that time, the mill passed to the businesslike ownership of John Greider, Sr., and Samuel Diller. John Greider, Sr., after farming for three years, kept store for three years at nearby West Hill. In 1844, he located on the Conodoquinet Creek where he eventually acquired a fine estate of approximately 400 acres, most of which he would later divide among his children. His son, John, Jr. acquired the land containing the gristmill in 1868. In fact, he was assessed for two merchant mills, a brick house, a stable, and a tenant house.

In 1874, John Greider had only one grist. Newspaper and courthouse records show an interesting exchange of mill owners and millers as mills along the creek changed ownership and management throughout mixed economic times.

It was at the time of the Greider's ownership that Wihelm Schimmel, the folk wood carver, became a "guest" in the mill and about the Greider homestead. Local lore, newspaper notes of the time, and current researches, have Schimmel about the mill where he favored the site for his wood carving and the return point for his "tramps." Locals still associate the mill with the latter life of the carver. Collectors stop by and occasionally make "inquires."

By the end of the 19th century, the property was purchased by the Keiter Family, and changed hands several times within that family.

About 1913, the mill dam was breached out in its center by ice or flood. The mill was by then obsolete and generally worn out. The Keiters were trying to sell out by public and private sale but without a buyer. Appreantly to attact a buyer for the mill, the Keiters began to modernize the mill by adding the roller system replacing the old millstones.

Around 1920, Benjamin F. Heishman, a miller from Baker, West Virginia, then bought the property and commenced a revitalization and expansion of the old mill.

The two sets of millstones were removed and the mill converted to the roller process, with four Wolf rollers installed. The two wooden tub wheels (1) were removed and replaced by older, but technically comparatively advanced S. Morgan Smith turbines. The engine room and office structures were added at this time.

The milldam was repaired (circa 1920-22), and its vertical downstream face greatly improved as a structure by the addition of a modern concrete bulkhead designed by a local civil engineer. The upstream planked slanted apron of the dam was also made more effective by the addition of a concrete skin.

One revitalized, the mill now continued to operate very well as a merchant mill service with its own truck and wide central market area. It was best known for its "Ladies Choice" flour.

Several members of the Heishman family, at this time, were inventors and producers of milling machinery. Three U.S. Patents were issued to the Heishman. The Heishmans Garlic Extractor was manufactured in Fredericksburg, Virginia and nationally advertised.

By the end of World War II, and the death of B. F. Heishman in 1947, the ownership and operation of the mill passed to Jesse B. Neuhauser and Morgan C. Wright. This mill was run until about 1958 when it was closed down. The competition from large central milling, distribution, and marketing sources spelled the end of the small capacity country mill.

The mill stopped, was untouched, and was purchased intact in 1969 by William F. Foshag. From that time to this, the site has been preserved, maintained, and stabilized, and remains unaltered from its original and 1920 condition.

The Diller/Heishman Mill is significant for agriculture as a processing facility for general cash agriculture. In particular, the mill products were flour, cornmeal, animal feed, sawn timber, whiskey, and plaster-lime.

Milling played an instrumental part in the development of rural agrarian communities such as Greider. As was typical, once the mill prospered, it was surrounded by a small community. These communities were usually made up of people who were tied to the mill either through employment or suppliers of raw materials.

Up until the 1860's, the Diller families owned many farms along the creek, thus creating a bond to the mill and its success.

The mill also served as a focal point for the original migration of Mennonites from Lancaster heading down the valley into Maryland and Virginia. Diller Mennonites still remain within the valley area and have their services at their active "Diller-Mennoite" Church.

The mill is also significant as the "home" base for the folk wood-carver Wilhelm Schimmel. Much fact, folklore, and "fakelore" surrounds this gentleman's tenure at the mill.

FOOTNOTES (not found in the original application)

(1) Previous to these "modern" turbines (manufactured in 1908), there existed tub wheels (?) in there place. One or both were of a yet unidentified type: (known or patented as a) "Johnson Wheel." In Keiter's ad for the sale of the mill in 1913, the water wheel is described as being a "Johnson Wheel."

The turbines currently in the mill are:
1. S. Morgan Smith, standard vertical "New Success" R.H., 36 inch. this turbines at full gate optimum water flow and fall at this site, develops about 28 horsepower.
2. S. Morgan Smith, standard vertical L.H., 33 inches. this turbine, as above, develops about 35 horsepower.

(2) Frantz Dieller's Leases, 1807, on 3 February 1807 Frantz Dieller made arrangements for the leasing and operation by one Henry Snyder of the mill that he had just built a short distance east of his house and across the road on the south bank of the Conodoquient Creek. A copy of the original agreement was made by John Bear, the scriveners, and preserved among his papers; it now belongs (1944) to his great-great-granddaughter, Miss Fannie C. Diller, of Diller, Nebraska, who is also a great-great-granddaughter of Frantz Dieller. The following transcription retains the spelling of the old copy but punctuations and capitalizes according to modern English:

Articles of an agreement made and agreed upon the third day of February, Anno Domini one thousand eight hundred and seven, between Francis Diller, of Westpennsboro' township, Cumberland County, and State of Pennsylvania, yeoman, of the one part, and Henry Snyder, of the same township, miller, of the other part.

Witnesseth that the said Francis Diller both hereby let unto the said Henry Snyder a certain grist and sawmill, gears, implements, and every thing there unto belonging, situate in the aforesaid township of Westpennsboro', during the term of three years from the first day of April next, on such shares as here in after mentioned. He, the said Henry Snyder, shall attend such mills and shall have one third of all toll grain and other income of said gristmill, and the said Francis Diller two thirds, the grain to be divided every month and the income of money every six months. From the saw mill the said Henry Snyder shall have one third, and the said Diller two thirds, the money to be divided in manner aforesaid.

The said Francis Diller to keep the said grist and saw mill and every thing thereto belonging in sufficient repair, except the thriving of wedges and rings, and shall get every thing that breaks immediately, as soon as possible, made anew and amended. The said Francis Diller shall get all and every thing that's yet to be made in said mill made and finished before the first day of April next; that is to say, garners, a screw for grinding plaster, rolling screen, wind mill (Dutch fan or smutter) , one large boulting cloth and chest for flour, and to get the middlings boulting cloth larger and in better repair and and (word repeated at beginning of new page) to get a hopper chest that holds about fifty bushels to fill the small hoppers. The said Francis Diller (paper torn at this point) all the grease for said mills, and the said, Snyder (paper torn at this point) lights. The said Diller to find a ten plate stove to put in the water house before next winter and to find all the fire wood and haul it to the mill. The said Francis Diller to find and provide for the said Henry Snyder during the said time sufficient meat, crink, lodging, washing, and mending, as also for the hand or hands the said Henry Snyder shall keep (except the mending).

The said Francis Diller shall get the tail race made about eight inches deeper as soon as can be done, as also to clear off the yard about the mill and do the filling about the mill and the digging at the lower door, so as necessity and convenience may require, as soon as possible, and keep the said mills free from taxes. The said Henry Snyder to have one half of the screenings and all of the sweepings. The said Henry Snyder to have the small board stable to his use. The said Henry Snyder to be at liberty to give up his bargain every year but must give three months notice to said Diller before the first day of April of his intention. and for the true performance of all and every the contents and bargained premises above and a fore mentioned the said parties bind themselves, each unto the other, for the penalty of one thousand dollars. In witness whereof the said parties to these presents have here unto set their hands and seals the day and year first above written.

Sealed and delivered in the presence of us:
Francis (his X mark) Diller (Seal)
Samuel Bear
John Bear

Henry Snyder (Seal)
A true copy of the original, taken the 5th day of February, A. D 1807, pr. John Bear

On 3 March 1807 Frantz Dieller entered into a lease of his farm to his son Francis Diller (the miller). The original document was preserved among the papers of John Bear and is now owned (1955) by Miss Fannie C. Diller, of Diller, Nebraska. It was written for the parties in German by John Bear.


Figure 1. 3/4 view Diller-Heishman's Mill.
Figure 2. Diller-Heishman's Mill, milldam, and millpond site plan.
Figure 3. Diller-Heishman's Mill, milldam, and millpond site.
Figure 4. Diller-Heishman's Mill, South elevation. Measured drawing.
Figure 5. Diller-Heishman's Mill, East elevation. Measured drawing.
Figure 6. Diller-Heishman's Modified Timber Crib Milldam. Typical section. Looking south to north. From engineering and measured notes.
Figure 7. Diller-Heishman's Mill, Basement Floor Plan-The Creek Floor.
Figure 8. Diller-Heishman's Mill, First Floor Plan-The Road Level.
Figure 9. Diller-Heishman's Mill, Second Floor Plan.
Figure 10. Diller-Heishman's Mill, Third Floor Plan.
Figure 11. Diller-Heishman's Mill, Third Floor Plan-mezzanine.
Figure 12. 3/4 view. Diller-Heishman's Mill. Road level. Looking northeast.
Figure 13. Diller-Heishman's Mill. West elevation.
Figure 14. Diller-Heishman's Mill. North elevation.
Figure 15. Diller-Heishman's Mill. Mill tailrace and arch detail. East elevation.
Figure 16. Diller-Heishman's Mill and milldam. Looking southeast.

Key to Floor Plan Drawings of Diller-Heishman's Mill.

Note all original art work, drawings, film prints and negatives are held in the original by: William Foshag, 1206 Creek Road, Carlisle, PA 17013.

Please save all Plan Drawings as images on your computer so you can view they full size and without distortion. Thank you.

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