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Sanborn 1910 Fire Insurance Map

Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division, Sanborn Maps Collection

Bluegrass Milling Company

1907 – 1961

     Comparing the 1905 and 1910 Sanborn Fire Maps, it can be seen that the 180 HP steam engine, 2200 volt AC dynamo, and the 50' chimneys for the electric plant had been removed and the 80 HP steam engine was used to power a planing mill. The configuration of the flour mill had not been changed: There was a corn crusher in the basement; 4 double roller mills, a corn roll, 2 hopper scales, 1 packer, and 1 run of stone were on the first floor, 1 bran duster, 1 purifier, 1 suction hose, and 2 separators were on the second floor; and 3 reels, 1 scourer, 1 purifier, 3 salen sifters, and 1 tubular dust collector were on the third floor. The mill was powered by coal and steam and had electric lights. Fire protection was 10 barrels of water and 20 round bottom pails.


     After the Lewisburg Milling & Electric Co. was sold to Blue Grass Milling in 1907, the business changed hands many times before Rosalie Detch sold it to the Old Red Mill in 1961. The products and services that Bluegrass Milling provided over the years reflected the changing agricultural practices in the Greenbrier Valley. In 1909 there were 20,000 acres of corn and wheat grown in the Greenbrier Valley, but farms were switching from producing grain to raising livestock. Over the years, advertisements for the Bluegrass Milling Company illustrate the transition from producing wheat flour to grinding grain for livestock feed to selling farm machinery.

Today, approximately 800 farms in the Greenbrier Valley raise approximately 47,000 head of cattle annually with the pastures used for grazing or growing hay or corn for feed. Grain is still grown here with approximately 400 acres of corn and soybeans planted along Houfnagle Road. Needless to say, the grain is not processed or used locally but enters the commercial grain market.

     Additional details regarding the Bluegrass Mill history are available by clicking here.


November 17, 1906

     The Bluegrass Milling Co. is incorporated by James Laing, S. Lewis Price, James M. Preston, Richard Jasper, Fred W. Snyder, and John A. Preston.   C.W. Swisher, Secretary of State


November 22, 1906

     The Lewisburg Milling and Electric Co's plant was sold at public auction here last Thursday and was knocked down at $25,700 to a company of which, we understand, Lewis S. Price, Jas. Laing, Richard Jasper, John A. Preston, Jas. M. Preston, and Fred Snyder are members.

Greenbrier Independent Vol 41 #21

October 1, 1907 Deed 83-635

     The Blue Grass Milling company sells the electric light plant to the Consolidated Light & Power Co. of Ronceverte

     “. . . doth hereby sell the said plant . . . including the large Corliss engine, the Bullock dynamo, about fourteen feet of line shafting, belting, switch-boards, transformers, poles, wires, material on hand, etc., it being the intention hereof to include in said sale the entire electric light plant, outfit, and equipment, except the boilers . . .”


September 1, 1908 Deed 77-126

     S. Lewis Price, Vice President of the Blue Grass Milling Company conveys the property and mill to G.S. Alderson for $3,000 notes and 382 acres of land near Keeney's Knob valued at $12,000.

[It is interesting to note that in 1897, G.S. Alderson had purchased the large Cox flour mill near the Beirne Spring and operated it until it was destroyed by fire in 1899.]


September 10, 1908

Announcement The undersigned, under the firm name Blue Grass Milling Co. have purchased and taken charge of the Lewisburg roller mill and will engage in a general milling business. Wheat, corn, and all kinds of grain wanted – highest market prices paid. Will also do custom grinding. G.S. Alderson, C.W. Dunbar, J.M. Dunbar, M.L. Dunbar   Greenbrier Independent vol 43 no. 11


October 15, 1908

     The Blue Grass Milling co. requests all persons indebted to them to settle with J.M. Preston before Oct. 20th.   Greenbrier Independent vol 43 no. 16


February 23, 1909 Deed 78-195

     G.S. Alderson conveys the steam mill he purchased in September 1908 to the Blue Grass Mill & Supply Company.


February 25, 1909

     The Blue Grass Milling and Supply Company, of Lewisburg, was chartered last week. Capital stock. $17,000 – all subscribed and paid in. Stockholders as follows: S.W. Dean, G.S. Alderson, M.L. Dunbar, C.W. Dunbar, and J.M. Dunbar. The company will engage in a general milling business and handle fertilizers, coal, seeds, salt, etc. Greenbrier Independent vol 43 no. 35


March 24, 1914 Deed 86-305

     The Blue Grass Mill & Supply Company conveys the Old Tan Yard and mill to C.W. And J.M. Dunbar. “.. . All of the real estate situated on Jefferson Street in said town of Lewisburg, adjoining Surbaugh and others and known as the Old Tan Yard property, together with all machinery, motors, shafting, belts,pulleys, screeners, bolters, and all other kinds and character of machinery used in the property herein conveyed, . . .”


November 17, 1922

     Blue Grass Milling Co. Our specialties: Golden Crown, Graham, Buckwheat Flour, Corn Meal (bolted), Corn and Oats Chop, Mill Feed and Dairy Feed.

Advertisement - Greenbrier Independent vol no.


July 18, 1930

     Burglars Enter Mill The Blue Grass Milling company's mill was entered through the basement some time during Wednesday night and from $10 to $20 in cash taken.   Greenbrier Independent vol 65 no. 5


January 30, 1931

     Has Carrier Pigeon: Marvin Tuckwiller at the Blue Grass Mill shortly after a snowstorm recently noticed a pigeon with larger wings and shorter bill with the pigeons that hang around the mill and a few days ago it came in the mill and he caught it and is now caring for the bird, which he found was a carrier pigeon with a silver band on its leg marked “NPA K-3630.”

Greenbrier Independent vol 65 no. 33


July 19, 1935

     Notice to Farmers: Feed Buyers The Bluegrass Milling Company's mill located at Lewisburg W. Va. Has been leased by R.L. Groseclose of Alderson. the mill is now being thoroughly cleaned and overhauled and will be put in first class shape and all products will be Guaranteed absolutely satisfactory. Expect to be ready to grind about August 1. Will carry in stock a full line of flour, bread meal, soft wheat fed, , Tuxedo feeds, hay, straw, salt, and fertilizer. Hope to be in position to handle all the surplus wheat the farmer has to sell. Good dry wheat will be taken in on deposit for exchange. Any business given us will be appreciated. Bluegrass Milling Co. R.L. Groseclose, Miller and Manager     Greenbrier Independent vol 70 no. 4


May 31,1947 Deed 158-359

     C.E. McLaughlin acquires the final interest in the Blue Grass Mill and now is the sole owner. Ads over the next few years indicate his attempt to keep the company successful.


December 23, 1948

     Advertisement All too often we forget to speak our thoughts of the fine people of this community where it is our privilege to serve. Our good wishes are many, however, and we deeply appreciate your friendship and association. Merry Christmas! Bluegrass Milling Co. Phone 83 Lewisburg, W. Va.

Greenbrier Independent vol 83 no.27


January 14, 1950

     Southern States advertisement Look to Southern States for “Seeds that Really Grow” Place your order now for spring seeds. Clovers, Oats, Hybrid Corn, Etc. For quality the answer is Open Formula Co-Op Fertilizers. We offer 10-10-10 and 4-16-8 for Corn as well as lower grade analyses Order now – delivery when you want it. Southern States Ronceverte Service phone 508 Ronceverte, WV  Greenbrier Independent vol 84 no. 31

(The Bluegrass Milling advertisements and offerings over the next few years might have been their response to a new competitor.)


January 3, 1952

Advertisement:   Here it is . . . In a class by itself . . . the new FERGUSON “30” [drawing of tractor] Look at it . . . Get that feeling of weight and traction . . . size and power. Here's a tractor that will meet more of your needs more of the time than any other tractor you could buy. No other tractor ever produced has better torque characteristics (lugging power). It will pull you through the toughest soil without slowing or stalling. It will keep on going when other tractors quit. A host of engineering advancements including: A great new engine that develops over 30 ¼ horse power; A new air-fuel system that results in longer engine life; Heavier gearing to give longer rear-end life. Come in for a demonstration Bluegrass Milling Co. Phone 83 Lewisburg Ferguson Tractor     Greenbrier Independent vol 86 no. 29


March 20, 1952

     Advertisement Order Fertilizer Now: You have doubtless seen in the newspapers and farm bulletins the necessity for early movement in fertilizers. This, in our opinion, is most important. If fertilizer doesn't begin to move early, it will be impossible to supply everyone's needs when wanted

We suggest that all farmers have a place to properly store their fertilizers to take your fertilizer home. You have nothing to lose by doing this; doubtless, much to gain.

Also book your Seed Corn and Grass Seed early. We carry McCullough's Grass Seeds – Park's and Frank's Seed Corn - Place Your Order With Us – Bluegrass Milling Co Phone '83 Lewisburg  Greenbrier Independent vol 86 no. 40


October 15, 1953

     Advertisement: Our new co-operative advertising plan SPECIAL OFFER We are now giving our business cards to our customers These business cards are good for Wm. A. Rogers Silverware made and guaranteed by Oneida, Ltd. . . .

Send the required amount of cards listed on the back of each card or in the catalog to the New York office and the silverware will be forwarded to you by Parcel Post Insured Prepaid  “Remember to ask for Rogers Silverware Cards” They are truly valuable Bluegrass Milling Co. Phone 83 Lewisburg W. Va. Greenbrier Independent vol 88 no 18


November 19, 1953

     Dairymen Meeting: The Bluegrass Milling Company will show a colored movie about pipeline milking on actual farms. Mastitis will be discussed from a veterinarian's viewpoint. The show will be at the Court House on Friday, November 20, at 8 PM. Refreshments will be served. The public is invited. Greenbrier Independent vol 88 no. 23


December 8, 1955 Deed 193-613

W.J. McLaughlin conveys the “Bluegrass Milling property” to Woodrow Taylor and Rosalie Detch after a Circuit Court chancery cause decree on 11/8/1955

February 9, 1956

For Sale: Valuable business building in Lewisburg, 3-story building of strong construction. Known as the Bluegrass Mill property, 1 ½ blocks from main intersection in Lewisburg. 7,800 square feet of floor space, suitable for retail store, warehouse, or recreation center. Over 200 feet of frontage on route 219. Ample parking space and room for expansion. All utilities available. Excellent business opportunity. Can be financed. Call John L. Detch, phone 663

Greenbrier Independent vol 90 no. 35


August 1,1961 Deed 214-16

Rosalie and John Detch and Woodrow and Daisy Taylor convey the “old Blue Grass Mill property” to the Old Red Mill, Inc for $20,000.

(Then for the next 50 years, the property is known as 'Fort Savannah'.)

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