Photos by Greg Palmer - 10/29/2006 Historic Photos Courtesy of Franz H. Dorsch added 5/4/2007
Orange Grove Grist Mill once stood at this location in the Patapsco Valley State Park of Maryland. It was a large five story structure that produced flour sold in large bags labeled "Patapsco Superlative Flour”. Most of the workers lived across the Patapsco River and crossed a suspension bridge every day to get to work. The mill burned on May 1st, 1905 and was never rebuilt. The original bridge is also long gone but a new suspension bridge now stands in the same location for the use of park visitors.
Special Thanks to Franz H. Dorsch for permission to use these historic photographs
(Photos have been digitally enhanced to show detail)
« A View of the Mill from the Howard County side of the River The bridge is to the right
» Mill Workers The mill name can clearly be seen on the building
« Mill Workers Posing on a train car
» Mill Workers Franz's Grandfather is at the far right
The Grist Mill Today
Just by looking at the ruins of the mill you would never guess how large the building originally was. The first sign that something once stood on the spot is a very overgrown square brick structure next to a paved bike path that now provides access to the area. Near this brick structure is a signboard showing historic photos of the mill and once you see the old photos you can start to pick out the other remains. On the hill just before the train tracks is a wall that looks like nothing more than a retaining wall but this was once the back wall of the mill. I don’t know where the rest of the building materials disappeared to, the fire could not have consumed a five story building so completely, but they are not here for us to see today.
The Suspension Bridge Today
A new suspension bridge over the Patapsco River now stands at the site of the old suspension bridge. If you look at either end of the bridge you can still see the old stonework.