Charles F. Mercer, a lawyer, Virginia legislator and military officer, obtained the right to dam the Little River and to build a mill in 1804. He built a house for himself across the Little River Turnpike, calling the complex “Aldie Manor,” after Mercer’s supposed ancestor’s Aldie Castle in Scotland. The village that grew around the complex was named Aldie in 1810. Mercer’s father, James Mercer, had operated a tub mill at the location from about 1764. The new mill was built between 1807 and 1809 by WIlliam Cooke, who worked for Mercer under an indenture contract. Cooke built the mill, granary miller’s house and store, as well as the now-disappeared distillery, blacksmith shop, sawmill, cooperage and wheelwright’s shops, in return for a half-share in the mill operation. The original mill machinery was a system patented and manufactured by Oliver Evans. Much of the machinery, along with the original wood water wheels, was replaced at the beginning of the twentieth century. Mercer bought Cooke’s share in the operation for $11,250 in 1816, leasing to mill to tenant operators. Mercer sold the mill in 1835 to John Moore, whose descendants operated the mill until 1971, through six generations. All of the preceding is provided courtesy of Wikipedia.
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