Kirby's Mill - Haines Mill (Modern: Medford Historical Society)
The Medford Historical Society is housed in the historic Kirby's Mill, which was built in 1778 by Isaac Haines and his partners. Issac was the great-grandson of John Haines, who built the historic farmstead house in 1690, which survives as a historical landmark in Medford. The Haines family had a huge impact on the development of Medford and much of Burlington County. The family sold the mill to William S. Kirby in 1877. It has been restored to its early appearance and efforts are ongoing to make it a functioning mill once again. The Haines family used the mill site to produce flour and gun powder for the Continental army and then turned the mill into the most successful commercial operation in the county, adding to the wealth and influence of the Haines family. It served as New Jersey's last operating hydro-powered mill when it transitioned to electricity in 1961.
Backstory and Context
In 1682, Richard Haines gained land patented by the Duke of York (later King James II). By arriving early to Burlington County and gaining ownership of the woodlands and watersheds, The Haines Family exhibited inordinate influence in Burlington County. Richard's son, John, married Esther and built a farmstead home in 1690. The couple had thirteen children who, along with generations of other children, constructed more homes in the area, amassed thousands of acres of land. Issac Haines, John's great-grandson, opened in 1778 what is now Kirby's Mill and the home to the Medford Historical Society.
Issac opened Haines 1 Mill, a hydro-powered saw and grist mill, in 1778. The mill ground grain for the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War and also sold to the army both flour and gun powder. For more than a century, the mill served as Medford's commerce center, with more business transactions taking place than anywhere in the township. There was in operation the sawmill, shingling mill, grist mill, blacksmith shop, wheelwright shop, carding mill, cider mill, and still house. The mill's success only furthered the influence and wealth of the Haines family throughout the nineteenth century.
The family sold the mill in 1866 to the Kirby Family. The mill served the town from 1778 until 1961. When it converted to electric power in 1961, it stood as the last water-powered mill that had been operating in the State of New Jersey. Since the 1970s and its inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places, the Medford Historical Society has led an effort to restore and renovate the mill for public viewing.
"Kirby's Mill." Medford Historical Society. medfordhistory.org. Accessed February 21, 2021. https://www.medfordhistory.org/kirbysmillhistory/index.html
LeVan, Clyde W. "Nomination Form: Kirby's Mill." National Register of Historic Places. nps.gov. August 12, 1971.
Mitchell, Gail Grossmick. "The Haines Tree." The Haines Family of New Jersey. Accessed February 19, 2021. https://southjersey.weebly.com/haines-tree.html.
Powers, Mathew. "John Haines House (Friendship Farm)." Clio: Your Guide to History. February 20, 2021. Accessed February 21, 2021. https://www.theclio.com/entry/127042.
Powers, Mathew. "Jonathan Haines House." Clio: Your Guide to History. February 20, 2021. Accessed February 21, 2021. https://www.theclio.com/entry/127071
Trumbower, Betty H and James G Trumbower. "Nomination Form: Jonathan Haines House - Friendship Farm." National Register of Historic Places. nps.gov. 1976. https://npgallery.nps.gov/GetAsset/89556d1f-4ae2-4ed1-9956-4b508e5ea2c6/. Though this form references Jonathan Haines, its subject is John Haines, the builder of the 1690 farmhouse on Fostertown Road. Nevertheless, the material provided gives insight into the Haines family, including Jonathan, who built the 1760 structure.
By Apc106 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=21555195
By Bestbudbrian - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=35491231