Valley sites added to Virginia Landmarks Register

Published: Mar. 23, 2017 at 11:43 AM EDT
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Paul's Ottobine Mill in Rockingham County and the Turner Ashby Monument in Harrisonburg have both been added to the Virginia Landmarks Register by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources.

The current Paul's Ottobine mill was built between 1937 and 1938, but records show a mill stood on the site as early as 1799.

According to VDHS, the current mill was built for Judge John Paul Jr. but the family ownership dates back to 1840. The family still owns the mill today.

"It needed to be acknowledged as a historical point in Virginia and the family has kept it in pretty good condition," said Seymour Paul, whose brother lives at the mill.

Paul says the farm land dates back to 1756, when King George the Second of Great Britain, France and Ireland granted the land to Isaiah Shipman. The land and mill has had a history of ownership and fires, one in 1847 and another in 1937, according to Paul. Mill operations ended in 1954, but some of the original parts of the water-powered gristmill still remain. Paul also says the mill used to serve as the Ottobine post office.

"It served many purposes, of course there were many mills in the county and that's where everybody had to come to get their grain processed," said Paul.

Today’s mill retains an overshot wheel and metal flume, as well as extensive machinery including millstones, belt drives, and elevators.

The Turner Ashby Monument in Harrisonburg, which marks where General Turner Ashby was killed in the Civil War, is also now on the register.

It's the only known Confederate monument in Virginia to commemorate through its placement the site where a Confederate soldier was mortally wounded in battle. it was dedicated on June 6, 1898 – the 36th anniversary of the cavalry officer’s death – and paid for by citizens of Rockingham County and Harrisonburg. A local chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy spearheaded the drive to support the monument’s creation.

Both sites have been recommended for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places.