Mill Restoration Project
The Obadiah LaTourette Grist and Saw Mill is listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places as a contributing property in the German Valley Historic District. Built circa 1750, and owned by Philip Weise, the mill was essential to the economy and development of German Valley and the surrounding agricultural community. For much of its history, it was the most successful business in the village, grinding grain and producing flour and animal feed. A saw mill was located behind the grist mill during the 1800’s.
Originally powered by two water wheels, the mill was converted to turbine power by owner Obadiah LaTourette in the 1870’s. The milling operation continued until the early 1940’s. Most of the machinery remains, reflecting the history of milling over 200 years.
In March, 1991, the town condemned the mill. The WTLT borrowed $20,000 from the Historical Society and $10,000 from the Morris County Trust, and in December, 1991, purchased the mill from Joan O’Dowd for $25,000. The O’Dowd family donated the eight acres of river-front property which was once the mill pond. Shortly thereafter, the Land Trust secured a $5,000 emergency stabilization loan from the New Jersey Historic Trust and embarked upon the restoration of the Mill with the aid of volunteers and donated materials.