About Anselma Mill Preservation and Educational Trust
The Mill at Anselma, a National Historic Landmark, inspires people in creative ways
to discover the Mill’s authentic technology and importance to its community
over three centuries of operation.
The Mill at Anselma Preservation and Educational Trust was formed in 1998 with the vision to create an innovative historical attraction at the Mill at Anselma that demonstrates through sensory experiences, the evolution of technology and the impact of change in commerce, free enterprise and transportation on American life over three centuries for schoolchildren, families, scholars, visitors and local residents.
Following the death of Anselma’s last miller, Mr. Oliver Ernest Collins in 1982, the French and Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust purchased the Anselma Mill and its 22-acre site as part of its work in historic preservation. The Anselma Mill, the mill pond and races, as well as the site’s other structures were preserved and stabilized during the 1980s. With the successful completion of the mill’s stabilization, the French and Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust focused on its work in the purchase, easement and preservation of land and stream corridors.
In 1998, the Conservation Trust recognized the need to continue work on the Anselma Mill, and with the cooperation of the Board of Supervisors of West Pikeland Township and the Board of Commissioners of Chester County, formed the Mill at Anselma Preservation and Educational Trust, Inc. to continue the restoration.
On October 11, 1999, the Mill at Anselma was formally turned over to the Mill at Anselma Preservation and Educational Trust. After five years of painstaking restoration, the Mill was officially returned to operation on May 8, 2004 with 1,200 people in attendance including supporting funders and government officials, local residents, the restoration contractors, and several descendents from the families that had made the Mill at Anselma their home over generations.
Today, the Mill at Anselma offers tours, milling demonstrations, and a variety of other traditional craft and foodways demonstrations. In 2005, the Mill Trust was licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture to sell stone-ground flour and cornmeal, all milled on-site at the historic grist mill.
In 2008, the Mill became home to the Anselma Farmers and Artisans Market, supporting local farmers and providing the community with fresh, local food. In 2009 The Mill Trust opened an “Education Lab” on-site to service its expanding educational programming. The Mill Trust has also partnered with Chester County Historical Society in its new “Open Space” educational travel trunk program that serves sixth grade students at Chester County schools. The Mill at Anselma’s current and future programming is the direct result of a three-year interpretive planning process that was funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Heritage Philadelphia Program in 2004 -2006. The Mill Trust worked closely with museum interpretive planners, historians, and museum audience specialists, as well as a team of local community representatives, to identify the important stories and themes that the Mill at Anselma could convey to its visitors.
A direct result of this community-focused planning was the decision to pursue the production and sale of stone-ground flour as a mission-related earned income source. This recommendation from the community launched an initiative where the Mill Trust staff and volunteers worked closely with millers from other historic sites to refine our flour milling techniques, and to brainstorm ways to bring the history of flour milling to life for visitors in ways that are meaningful today.
The production and sale of stone-ground flour as a mission-related earned income source. This recommendation from the community launched an initiative where the Mill Trust staff and volunteers worked closely with millers from other historic sites to refine our flour milling techniques, and to brainstorm ways to bring the history of flour milling to life for visitors in ways that are meaningful today. The production and sale of the Mill’s flour provides a tangible connection to the past for the Mill’s visitors and has created a new source of income to support the Mill’s programs and operations. The Mill Trust now offers an annual Gift Catalog which features its flours and other gifts.
Another initiative that has resulted from the Mill’s interpretive planning is the creation of the Anselma Farmers and Artisans Market. In 2008, the Mill Trust teamed up with Maysie’s Farm Conservation Center and the former Eagleview Farmers Market Association to move the Eagleview Market to Anselma. Nearly 7,000 people visited the Market during its first season and the Mill Trust hopes that this will become a permanent collaboration that supports local farmers and artisans and connects fresh, local foods with our community.
Board of Trustees
Stephen (Steve) G. Rhoads, Esq., Chair
David Rollenhagen, Ph.D, Vice Chair
Steve Woodward, Esq., Secretary
Don Luce , Treasurer
Cindy New Mastrangelo