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WANNAMAKER MILL-1885

KRESGEVILLE, Pa.

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NEW MILL HISTORICAL INFORMATION 2010:

After publishing the information regarding my research on the Kresgeville Mill in 2008, I was contacted by Jacqueline Morren, the Great Great Granddaughter of Mr. Amandus D. Wannamaker. She had found my site and as it regarded her ancestry, decided to contact me. Jacqueline then put me in contact with her mother Sarah Marburger, the Granddaughter of Amandus' son George Birney McClellan Wannamaker and his wife Jenny, who owned and ran the Mill after his father's death. George purchased his brother Alfred's interest in the Mill and replaced an existing waterwheel with a 12' Fitz I-X-L all metal wheel.

Sarah's mother, Madeline, was the youngest daughter of George Wannamaker. Madeline was six years old when, due to George Wannamaker's untimely death, the Mill was sold out of necessity.

Sarah's email:

"Amandus left the mill to his sons George Britton McClellan Wannamaker and Albert Wannamaker.  George Wannamaker was a serious man who was very successful in the milling business.  However, he went in debt buying the water wheel and his brother's share of the business.  Since business was good, he would have been able to pay off these debts but he became ill and died in June of 1920.  As a result, my grandmother had to auction off the house, mill, and belongings for a fraction of what they were worth."

It was said George Wannamaker contacted Tuberculosis (TB) after installing the new Fitz Waterwheel and died from the disease.  Some reports, however, state that he died from “white lung.”   His family was put in a critical position without him to run the mill and they lost everything as a result.

Sarah's email continues:

"One letter of agreement I have is dated July 10, 1885 where Amandus Wannemacher bought the gristmill and one half part of the lot and dwelling house in Kresgeville."

     

Mill agreement, July 10, 1885

The above agreement is specific about a Mill with a House and property, along with rights to access and build a new dam and race on the James Berlin property if desirable. After the death of Amandus, this property was passed on to his two sons George and Alfred.  Later  George bought out Alfred's interest in the Mill, and later purchased a new Fitz Overshot Waterwheel during his renovation of the mill.  The wheel in the photos on the Mill's renovation PAGE is the same Fitz wheel mentioned in the receipt of final payment, below.

Receipt of final payment of $795 dollars due on cost of water wheel, "A considerable sum at that time". The I-X-L literally meant "I excel" and was a trademark for that type metal wheel. The actual total cost of the wheel has not yet been determined.

   

Photos of the Mill Owner's home, then and now. House is located opposite the Mill on Rt. 534 in Kresgeville, Pa. Persons standing on porch in original photo may be George Wannamaker's family.

Original house photo and Fitz wheel receipt courtesy Sarah Marburger.

MEMORIES OF LIFE IN KRESGEVILLE AT THE TURN OF THE CENTURY

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