Andrew Zirkle Mill
The Zirkle Mill is a grist mill found in the southern part of Shenandoah County, Virginia. It is unknown when exactly it was built, but it has been estimated to have been constructed in 1760 and operational by 1781. The mill was in continuous operation for approximately one hundred and eighty years. It holds the distinction of being the only mill on Holman's Creek to survive Sheridan's march during the Civil War. After closing down in the late 1940s, the mill was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.
Backstory and Context
During the Civil War, the mill was operated by Samuel Hockman. Following the Battle of Fisher Hill, Union General Sheridan began his infamous march. The legend goes that Hockman, upon seeing the other mills burning, rushed to set a Union flag over the mill before running out to meet them. Between that and Hockman's fast talking, Sheridan's men, lead by Brigadier General Custer, were convinced to leave the mill alone.
After the war, Zirkle Mill continued operating well past the turn of the century. However, it could not keep up with modern factories and was forced to close down in the late 1940s. Today, the mill is owned by two descendants of Andrew Zirkle that intend to restore the property for future educational purposes. The mill was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.
Andrew Zirkle Mill. MarkerHistory.com. http://www.markerhistory.com/andrew-zirkle-mill-marker-ab-3/.
Heatwole, John L. The Burning: Sheridan in the Shenandoah Valley. Rockbridge Publishing, 1999.
National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form. National Parks Service. http://www.dhr.Virginia.gov/registers/Counties/Shenandoah/085-0122_Zirkle_Mill_Nomination_1982.pdf.