THE BUILDING OF THE SHRIVER HOMESTEAD
|The following passage is excerpted from "Union Mills: The Shriver Homestead Since 1797" by Frederic Shriver Klein, first published in The Maryland Historical Magazine in December 1957, and reprinted by the Union Mills Homestead Foundation. The reprint was revised and expanded for the Union Mills Homestead Bicentennial in 1997 by J. Douglass Klein. Copies of the booklet (the "Red Book") may be obtained from the Homestead Foundation.|
Following this advice in general, the Shriver brothers bought a large tract of land along Big Pipe Creek, about seven miles north of Westminster and along early roads leading into Littlestown and Pennsylvania's roads toward the west. The junction of Pipe Creek and Deep Run furnished a strong flow of water for a mill in the wide valley, and gentle slopes on either side provided land for grazing, farming or settlement. Heavy stands of black oak would furnish tanbark for a tannery, and the Shrivers knew a good bit about tanning leather. At this time, Andrew Shriver was operating a store and tavern in Littlestown, Pennsylvania, and David was practicing as a civil engineer in Maryland.
The original mill contract shows that on January 25, 1797, the two brothers completed arrangements with John Mong, a Frederick County millwright to construct "a set of mills," a grist mill and a saw mill. On March 13, Jacob Keefer and John Eckert contracted "to mould and burn a kiln of brick" for the mill, "providing 100,000 brick or more, to be paid for at the rate of one French crown for every thousand brick." The brick kiln was constructed near the creek, known in previous years as Pipeclay Creek.
The house had its origin on January 26 of the same year, when a contract was made with Henry Kohlstock of York County, Pennsylvania, for building a small double house as a residence for the two brothers. Kohlstock, a joiner, agreed "to finish two small houses 14 by 17 feet each, to be connected by a porch and passage about 10 feet wide." Each house had one upper and one lower room, with a connecting center hallway and a small porch in front, twelve by eight feet. The carpenter's bill for labor gives an interesting idea of costs in 1797:
The total labor costs for the house came to eighty-six dollars!
- Frederic Shriver Klein
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