ResOURces Newsletter-CRM Special Issue

By Fairfax County Park Authority - Tuesday, April 09, 2013


April 2013   Special Issue: Colvin Run Mill

This is a special issue of ResOURces dedicated to Colvin Run Mill Historic Site. Two reasons for that. One, it's a great park to visit. Two, there's a contest that can save Fairfax County taxpayers a bundle of money. Read on.


Colvin Run Mill Can Win $100,000 in Contest 

Fairfax County has an opportunity to take a huge leap forward into history. Colvin Run Mill Historic Site is a finalist in a web-based contest sponsored by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and American Express. The finalist that draws the greatest number of votes from folks like you receives $100,000 in preservation prize money. You could win a three-night hotel stay, too.

Thus, this special issue of ResOURces, full of links to Colvin Run legend and lore. And even some facts. Through links below you'll learn about the mill, the park, and how to cast votes. 

How To Vote

Other Ways To Earn Points for Colvin Run Mill:

  • Vote every day. The site getting the most votes wins.
  • Share often via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and FourSquare.
  • Stop by Colvin Run Mill and check in via your Foursquare account.
  • Post a photo on Instagram and tag it with hashtag #ColvinRunMill.
  • Tweet on Twitter with hashtag #ColvinRunMill.


Rules of the Game

  • You must be 13 or over to vote
  • Voting period: Now through May 10
  • One user account per person/email address
  • Minors must have parent/guardian permission
  • Void where prohibited and subject to local law


Tour Me, Maybe

Colvin Run Mill is more than 200 years old and still working. And you replaced your computer and cell phone after how long? Come on out, escape your daily grind for ours, and see what quality workmanship is all about.

Take in Colvin Run with a tour led by knowledgable, fun, certified guides. There are daily tours hourly from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. except Tuesdays. There's also a downloadable walking tour brochure.  Or feel the gravelly thunder of the mill on the first and third Sundays of each month, April through October, when the miller cranks 'er up and grinds the grain. This is a place where processed food isn't a bad thing.


What Would Colvin Run Mill Do With The Prize Money?

The short answer: Make the marvelous site tour even better. For the past four decades, the only parts of the mill that have been open to visitors are the basement and the first floor. Colvin Run Mill would use the preservation prize money to fully restore the building's second and third levels, complete with functioning milling equipment. Visitors would see how the mill works top to bottom.


Mark Cockrill's Mustache

Mark Cockrill had one of those magnificent walrus mustaches popular at the turn of the century two turns of the centuries ago. He was the owner of the Colvin Run Mill General Store around 1900, and his store still stands and sells products today. The store alone is a terrific reason to visit Colvin Run Mill Historic Site, and it's a place to spend your pennies while they're still making them. Keep it in mind when December rolls around. The store hosts Children's Shopping Days in early December to help kids secretly buy and wrap gifts for friends and family.


Colvin Run and Education    

One of the best ways to make history fun is to get close to it. See and feel what it was like to live in a different time. Thousands of Fairfax County preschoolers and elementary students annually take guided field trips at the mill. The tours take the kids out of the classroom and into a world ranging from puppets to engineering history. Information for teachers is on the website. The mill also has programs for scouts. Birthday parties, too.

Miller Mason Maddox displays Colvin Mill's flour.


History in the Making, Literally

The year is 2213, and historians have preserved the home you live in, the school you attended and the place you work. Docents lead tours and show their visitors how people lived and worked in 2013. You are, literally, history in 200 years. That's Colvin Run Mill today, and Colvin Run goes one step further. The place of work still works. It still makes flour. 

Colvin Run still makes history. In its day, it supplied flour and merchandise to residents. Tools of their trades are on display at the park. The house the miller lived in is still there. So is a blacksmith shop. There's a maple syrup boil-down in late winter. The creek that supplied the power still runs. The grinding stones were imported from France. Those are just peeks into the mill's past. There's much, much more at the park.
The sap's running before a maple syrup boil-down.

No Taylor Swift Breakup Songs Here

Colvin Run Mill's BFF is The Friends of Colvin Run Mill. These folks are dedicated to making sure your kids and their kids will have a chance to see, touch and feel this part of American and Fairfax County history. It's easy and inexpensive to join the Friends and become a little more involved in the place where you live. Parks thrive when county residents support parks.


Scouting Out Colvin Run Mill

Ever have a sleepover in a historic building? That happens at Colvin Run Mill. It's just one of the scouting programs hosted by the park. So grab your calendar and be prepared to add something to it as you scout out the scouting programs currently planned at the mill. And troop leaders, bookmark that page so you can check back for updates.


Where Grain? There Grain / And Recipes

Colvin Run is a working mill. It still grinds grain and makes flour. So what happens to the flour? It gets eaten. You see, buying local isn't just for vegetables. You can buy Colvin Run's products at the general store at Colvin Run or the country store at Frying Pan Farm Park.
Mill products are also available at the Maple Avenue Market in Vienna and on the menu at elements Restaurant in the Hyatt Dulles or at the Cock & Bowl in Occoquan, VA. 
Check out a few recipes online

See the Videos / Hear the Podcast

If you haven't been to Colvin Run Mill, you can get a taste of it in a variety of ways. The Park Authority and Channel 16 have made videos about the mill and park activities. Head to the Park Authority's website home page. You'll find a box marked "Park Videos." The Colvin Run videos are titled "Maple Syrup Boil Down" and "Colvin Run Mill." At the top of Colvin Run's home page, you'll find a short podcast titled "Listen: Welcome to Colvin Run Mill" that introduces you to the mill and its park activities. Give it a listen, and then head out to the park to see history and bread in the making exactly as mill visitors saw it 200 years ago.


Directions to Colvin Run Mill 

Colvin Run Mill is at 10017 Colvin Run Road in Great Falls, VA. That's just off Highway 7/Leesburg Pike and close to the Leesburg Pike intersections with Baron Cameron Avenue, Springvale Road and Beulah Road NE. See a map and get exact directions from the Colvin Run Mill website.  


Ten Reasons Why You Should Vote for Colvin Run Mill

  • 10. It's on the National Register of Historic Places.
  •   9. It's publicly owned by the Fairfax County Park Authority.
  •   8. It was George Washington's dream for the property, which he once owned.
  •   7. It survived the Civil War.
  •   6. It's more than 200 years old.
  •   5. It still has a working water wheel.
  •   4. It still provides flour and corn meal to local customers.
  •   3. It teaches simple machinery concepts to thousands of school children who visit each year.
  •   2. It was considered a modern marvel of its day.
  •   1. It's as cool today as it was when it was first built!


Events at Colvin Run Mill Historic Site

Support Colvin Run Mill by forwarding this email. 
Colvin Run Mill:  It's not your grandfather's mill.   No, wait.  Yes, it is.

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