Advance Mills Historic District

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John Fray's Flour Mill in Advance Mills, Virginia

The Advance Mills Historic District, located northeast of Charlottesville, was added to the National Register of Historic Places on April 12, 2002. It was listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register on June 14, 2000.

The historic district includes the village of Advance Mills and the historic Advance Mills Bridge. [1]


Advance Mills is one of Albemarle County's most recognizable milling communities and contains resources dating back to the early 1800s. The Fray family dominated the history of the Advance Mills community. Town founder John Fray operated a flour mill at this location beginning in 1833 (CDP 2/24/1985). For more than fifty years the village was known as Fray's Mill. The name was changed to Advance Mills in 1888 by the U.S. Post Office.[2]

Narrative from Virginia Landmarks Register

"Advance Mills Historic District, once an important milling village, is centered around a dam on the north fork of the Rivanna River. The Fray family, which moved to the area in 1833, built and shaped the community. The family was responsible for the construction of almost all the components of the district. Included in district are some 20 contributing resources including four houses with numerous outbuildings, a general store, the mill site, the dam, and a metal truss bridge. Milling was carried out there from the 1830s until fire destroyed the mill in 1948. It was the second time the mill burned. In 1898, fire originated in the sumac mill and destroyed the plant. It was rebuilt that year, and the sumac mill burned again in 1925. Both meal and flour were made at the mill in addition to types of feed such as chicken feed, bale hay and mill feed. The biggest market for the mill and flour was in Charlottesville. [3] In addition to the usual grains, the mill also processed wool and sumac for dyeing cloth. The district is sited in bucolic rolling countryside around the intersection of two country roads and along the banks of the river." [4]


Coordinates:Erioll world.svg.png 38°11′21″N 78°26′19″W / 38.18922°N 78.438606°W / 38.18922; -78.438606

External links


  1. Web. [ County of Albemarle, Albemarle County Board of Supervisors Minutes], Albemarle County Board of Supervisors, Albemarle County, .
  2. Web. Advance Mills History, Website, Advance Mills Village Homeowners' Association, retrieved May 16, 2024.
  4. Web. 002-5024 Advance Mills Historic District, Website, Virginia Landmarks Register, April 4, 2018, retrieved January 18, 2020.