This old Woodward Mill in Chesterfield County was once used to grind corn. The water beneath it served as a swimming hole for customers waiting for their corn to be processed. The mill is still owned by the Claude Oliver family and stands on private property.
Photographer James Jenkins included some interesting history about this structure: “For as long as I can remember, and I am 77, this site has been referred to as Woodward Mill. As far back as I can recall, the Claude Oliver family operated the mill. Mr. Oliver was one of the first people I recall in Chesterfield County who had an airplane. He also dug wells, or ‘put in’ wells with a contraption that he constructed, which drove a pointed rod into the ground by dropping a weight on the rod.
“When I was a young teenager, we carried corn to the mill and swam and fished while waiting for the corn to be ground. It was always a treat to visit the mill. The property is still owned by Mike Oliver, Mr. Claude’s son. It is posted for safety’s sake meaning that [permission is needed before accessing the property]. These photos were taken from the bridge below the spillway. I love to take these old structures that are rapidly fading from the scene.”