Dover Steam Mill




Broaddus Flats
Assassquin Plantation

18th Century Cellar

19th Century Kitchen Cellar

Rock Springs
Native American Camp Site

Summer Hill
Mehixton Plantation



Dover Steam Mill Overview

The archeological work that is being done at this nineteenth century site is a project of the Greater Richmond Chapter (GRAC) of the Archeological Society of Virginia. The official Virginia Department of Historic Resources designation is 44Go327.

This project started in February 1992 as an investigation into the below-ground details in and around the brick ruins of this building, located less than a mile from State Rt. 6 in Goochland County (west of Richmond). The information and data gathered in the first few years was used as the basis for a master’s degree thesis on “The Deterioration of Brick.”

The archeological work on the mill continues year-round, except for delays due to long, wet winters and the lack of substantial fencing to keep out cattle. Volunteer groups have included Summer Governor’s School in Archeology students, local Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, ASV members, members of the Goochland Historical Society, Sandy Fisher of Brookview Farm and even the landowner Mr. William Reed. In the first ten years of digging, excavators have almost completed work on the inside of the main buildings. Recent work has expanded to archeological units outside the mill walls. The principal investigator on this project is Harry A. Jaeger of Richmond, a member of GRAC/ASV.

Some questions we hope future archeology will reveal include the following:

• the approximate working floor level around the building
• the location of the boiler house where the steam was generated for the engine
• the location of possible outbuildings, such as a privy
• where and how workers loaded and unloaded their wagons
• the location of the sawmill (nearby?)

Artifacts include cut nails commonly used in the antebellum Period, “prism” glass fragments, burned window glass and charred wood, charred grains (corn, barley, and rice?), some pottery fragments, a few bottles, several bricks containing incused letters and numbers, and a few bricks with animal tracks pressed into them.

Date posted: 8.22.03