Fenwick Island has its lighthouse. Bethany Beach has its totem pole. And now Millville has its own distinguished icon that residents and visitors can associate with the town. Last week, representatives from the town of Millville and the Millville by the Sea community dedicated the new working mill, located at the corner of Roxana and Burbage roads.
“Over the last four years, I have been privileged to be involved in this project,” said Millville by the Sea project manager Al Ruble at the dedication on May 14.
Millville by the Sea’s design team constructed the structure, replicating mills that once stood in the area.
“One of the interesting things we had to do is develop in a town with a lot of history,” Ruble noted. “Through archaeological studies and work we did out here, we learned a lot about Millville and its overall history. Families settled here upwards of a couple centuries ago, and while we found there was no mill within the limits of the town, the surrounding areas were very active with sawmills. They played a big role in the area of commerce for this whole region.” Mills, most of which were privately owned, were common between Millville and Millsboro – as the two towns’ names suggest – with the namesake sawmill located at the south end of Millville, at Beaver Dam, which was once known as Turkey Creek.
“I think people will definitely take notice of the mill,” Ruble said, “and judging by the honks and waves, I’d say, more or less, people are enjoying it.”
The mill – which is a working grain mill, rather than a sawmill – will be open to the public as an attraction, with historical information available, as well as bread-baking demonstrations and other historical presentations.
“On behalf of a grateful town, I accept this key for our citizens and the community within the Town of Millville,” said Millville Mayor Donald Minyon. “We appreciate the job the people with Millville by the Sea have done. This mill is a great symbol of our town that is going to be here for a lot of years. When people see this, they’ll always think of Millville, but they’ll also know that they’re at the entrance of the next great community in Delaware: Millville by the Sea.”
Minyon noted that several other mills like the one along Roxana Road will be erected within the town.
“This icon is a tremendous asset to the town,” he stated. “People driving down Route 17 are going to take a second look at this corner and appreciate the beauty and craftsmanship that went into this mill.”