Currently, Waterside Woolen Mill is one of the oldest operating mills in the United States. It is incredible to think that this place still runs using its original equipment.
This historic Pennsylvanian landmark is located 21 miles northwest of Breezewood on the banks of the Yellow Creek in Morrison Cove, Bedford.
In the early 1800s, John Snyder acquired land here and by the 1860s, a wool factory had been built in this location.
There was previously a waterwheel onsite which provided the mill with electricity. Unfortunately, the wheel was destroyed but you can still see the place where it should have been and see water from the river rushing along the channel. With a little bit of imagination, you can picture what it must have been like with the wheel still in place and working at full capacity.
Inside Waterside Woolen Mill, you can see equipment that was created several decades ago and has not been replaced since.
Such equipment is designed to process raw wool into woven products. Looms date from the 1870s while other equipment was manufactured in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
Waterside Woolen Mill was closed in the 1960s. It remained shut for several decades until five years ago when it was opened as a tourist attraction and antique store.
In addition, factory operations were resumed on a small scale to produce traditional Pennsylvanian woolen blankets, using only natural, high-quality wool. Antique pieces of machinery still in operation include a picker, a “Moulton Card,” and wrap winding equipment.
All the items made at this oldest of mills can be purchased in the mill’s store. Products for sale include blankets, vests, and teddy bears. However, the factory does not work in the winter season due to the fact that it has no heating.
In the attic of the mill are still stored thousands of old coils, antique production labels, and many other things leftover from the production process many years ago. With many still in good condition, they provide marvelous photo opportunities for anyone interested in antique items.
This unique place is open to anyone who wants to see inside and is curious to know what life was like in the past.
The current owner of the mill not only conducts tours but also gives visitors the opportunity to take part in photography tours. After an official tour around the mill, visitors are then allowed to walk around on their own, taking photos as they please.
If you are interested in booking a tour, you should contact the mill through the official Facebook page.
A huge thank you to Robert Peterson for allowing us to share his wonderful photos with our readers. He specializes in landscapes, nature, and architecture photographs which you can buy by getting in touch with him. You should definitely check his impressive website and Facebook page. Enjoy!