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The mill’s history

By Staff | Apr 15, 2011

The cement mill has both war and industrial history.

Martin Burke, a Jefferson County historic landmarks commissioner, said that the mill, which sits on 17.86 acres of land, began production of cement around 1830. The Boteler and Reynolds Cement Mill produced hydraulic cement, a product that set under water, which is why many of the mill buildings sit along the Potomac River.

Burke said this hydraulic cement was sent up the C&O Canal to be used in the construction of many Washington, D.C., structures, including the Washington Monument.

Burke also noted that the grooves seen in the structures that remain on the property today are from wartime battles when cannons were fired during the Battle of Shepherdstown. He said it was also used during the Civil War by Confederate soliders to cross the river going to and returning from Antietam.

– From staff reports