Lehmans Mill - Where You Can Hunt for That One (or Two) Special Item
Where You Can Hunt for That One (or Two) Special Item
By Jennifer Leese
Lehmans Mill opened on September 3, 1998. "There's not many historic buildings made for a business like this," Cindy Brezler, owner of Lehmans Mill, said. Cindy and her husband Ronnie put two years worth of restorations into the mill. The minute you glide around the corner and cross the single-lane bridge, your amazing shopping adventure begins. Once you walk through the large burgundy door, your senses come alive. Your eyes pop from space to space as they take in the santas, the snowmen, the garland, the bulbs, the decorated trees, and the quilts. Your nose awakens to the smells of potpourri, candles, and incense and your fingers delight as they absorb the fabrics and textures.
"We restored this building from top to bottom. This was an actual functional working flour mill when we bought it," Cindy said. "It had grains in the bins. All we would have had to do was flip the switch and we could have made flour." Cindy, who's been in the business for thirty years, is very proud of her and her husband's creation. "There's still a water wheel in the basement. There's still a grindstone up on the platform.
"In the beginning we had many visitors come just to see the building, but any longer, a lot of people come to shop."
In the early days, flourmills were located on streams where waterpower was available. One of the earliest mills in Washington County was Lehmans Mill, located north of Hagerstown on Marsh Run, a tributary of the Antietam Creek, only half mile from the Pennsylvania line.
The mill, know then as Marsh Mills, reportedly was built in 1760 by Thomas Spriggs, who owned a 1,500 acre tract called Sprigg's Paradise on which the mill was situated. Sprigg's original mill was a two-story stone structure. Power for the mill was derived from a half-mile long dam, which was though to have been dug by slave labor.
In 1854, Jacob Lehman purchased the mill and 10 5/8 acres long Marsh Run just east of Reid along what today is Lehmans Mill Road. In 1887, steam power operated the mill, which is thought to be the oldest operating mill in the East.
For more than 100 years, the mill was owned and operated by four generations of the Lehman family, producing barrels of flour, rye and corn chop. Henry's son, William Barton (1855-1940), passed the operation of the mill to his son, also named William Barton. In 1969, the mill finally passed from the Lehman family when William Barton sold it to better Foods Foundation, Inc.
Opening a shop like Lehmans Mill wasn't a dream of Cindy's - "It just happened," she said. And what a great job she and her husband, Ronnie, have done. Cindy feels that their shop definitely adds to the history of the building. "It's keeping the building standing," she said. "To keep an old home historically correct is difficult. You gotta love it. You gotta have it in your heart."
Places like Lehmans Mills are certainly far and between.
The barn across the street has Christmas trees and outdoor living and the barn across from that has furniture. In the basement of the mill visitors will find their bargain basement (down the back steps).
Looking for styling help? Bring in your colors and Cindy will help you match items to them, but she does ask that you call and make an appointment. Lehmans staff can also assist you in coordinating colors or even help you pick that special gift.
As a unique specialty shop promoting quality items for decorating and fabulous gifts, Lehmans Mill is considered a "gem" of the county. The displays are gorgeous. They feature many unique pieces of furniture as well as hard to find home decor, historical lightings, upholstered furniture, pottery and custom window treatments. "We specialize in quality furniture and home decor. We can help you dress your home for any occasion." Visitors can get on their wish list and brides can register in their bridal registry.
"We do a lot of floral arrangements, as well as greenery and artificial pine," said Cindy. "We have everything you can possibly imagine for your home."
Lehmans Mill also has candles, lighting, floor coverings, handbags by Donna Sharp, pottery, and more. "We're pretty well known for having Trollbeads and Biagi beads."
Shopping at Lehmans Mill is a unique shopping experience. Not only do they have much to choose from, they also have sales and incentives to get you out there. It's a beautiful place.
Special events are held several times throughout the year and their monthly newsletter will keep you updated on new items and sales. They change with the seasons so it's never the same merchandise.
Stop by Lehmans Mill and take advantage of the 10% off all holiday items and be sure to stop back by December 4th through the 6th for their Holiday Bead Event.
Their holiday hours are T-Sat 10-5 and they are open now on Sundays from 12-5.
Lehmans Mill is located just north of Hagerstown at 19935 Lehmans Mill Road in Hagerstown and is listed on the National Historical Registry. To learn more about them visit www.LehmansMill.com or call them at 301-739-9119.