The Barcroft Mill not only provided wheat and corn meal to local residents, but also helped to shape and define what would eventually become the residential Barcroft community.
The origins of Barcroft Mill date back to 1836, when G.W.P. Custis built a water grist mill along Four Mile Run and Columbia Pike on land bequeathed to him by George Washington. After being inherited by G.W.P. Custis Lee, the mill was severely damaged by Federal troops returning from the Second Battle of Bull Run and was subsequently rebuilt around 1880 by Dr. John Woolverton Barcroft. By 1905 it had become a vital part of the community now known as Barcroft. In addition to the mill, the business center of Barcroft boasted a general store, a blacksmith shop and a railway shop. After fire destroyed the mill in the early 1920s, the property was purchased in 1925 by a company which built an ice plant on the foundations.
Trivia note: In a 1996 County Board election, John Woolverton Barcroft garnered 443 write-in votes in Barcroft Precinct, despite having been dead for over 100 years. This was done as an act of protest by Barcroft residents angered by a County Board decision to permit a rehabilitation house for drug-addicted mothers and their children to be built in the neighborhood.
What about you?
What do you know about the Barcroft neighborhood? Have you seen the remains of the mill? Let us know what you remember!