From the establishment of a tannery in 1796 until the sale of the Blue Grass Milling property in 1955, the hollow where Montwell Commons is located was the industrial center of Lewisburg. At various times the Withrow Tannery, the Donnally Glove Factory, several flour mills, the Lewisburg Milling and Electric Light Company, the Greenbrier Creamery, the Greenbrier Canning Company, and the Bluegrass Supply Company had been located on the property. Water for those businesses was supplied by the Andrew Lewis Spring on the west side of Jefferson St. and the Beirne Spring which is located on the hillside to the east of Lafayette St., just above the PSD pumping station. Ice for the creamery came from the Greenbrier River.
The following pages contain excerpts from deeds and newspaper clippings that give us a glimpse into those businesses, individuals, and aspects of the property. As you look around Montwell Commmons, you can imagine what the daily activity must have been like back in the day.
Approximately 50 deeds have been photographed and transcribed and are on file in the County Clerk's Office in the Greenbrier County Courthouse. Copies are available on request.
Special thanks are extended to the North House Museum Archives staff of the Greenbrier County Historical Society for their assistance in researching the archives of the Greenbrier Independent newspaper, first published in 1852.