Driving through the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it community of Ceresville, one can’t help but notice the beautiful limestone shell of a mill that has the distinction of being the first mill in Frederick County.

Known as the Ceresville Flour Mill, or Kelly’s Mill after its last owners, the building sits near the intersection of Route 26 and Route 194 outside of Frederick.

Another mill had existed on the property as early as 1795; that mill had been rebuilt and then ultimately razed. The mill standing today was built by William E. Williams in 1813 and was originally powered by water from Israel’s Creek, according the Maryland Historical Trust’s inventory form for historic properties.

From the inventory:

“The new stone mill had six floors and two rows of dormer windows. The machinery from the mill came from nearby Catoctin. In 1826 the mill manufactured 30,000 bushels of wheat a year. The additional output was 5,000 bushes flour, 7 bushels rye, 132 tons meal and 180 tons of feed.”

View images of the interior of the mill on the Historical Society of Frederick County’s website.

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Ceresville Mill, 1980. From the Maryland Historical Trust.
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Ceresville Mill, 2016

At the time of the historical survey in 1980, the mill continued to operate, receiving grain from Howard, Montgomery and Frederick counties. Eight years later, the 12,000-square-foot mill closed and, about 10 years after that, there were plans for a church to purchase the building, but those plans ultimately fell through.

The mill continues to sit vacant.

Sources: Historical Society of Frederick County website; Frederick News Post, September 1, 2003; Maryland State Archives – Maryland Historical Trust Inventory Form for State Historic Sites Survey