Murchies Mill

Murchies Mill

Estate sales are one of my favorite weekend activities – you never know what treasures you might find! I usually take my camera with me, just in case, but forgot it on Friday. So the photo above is a digital camera copy of the image I took with my cellphone! Hopefully you can tell that this home has a granite front yard! It’s an old mill, dating from 1720.  I suspect it may be a second or third incarnation.

According to Chesterfield County Chronicles: Stories from the James to the Appomattox, by Diane Dallmeyer, “Murchies Mill was south of Pocoshock Creek above the confluence with Falling Creek, in the approximate vicinity of a gunpowder mill during the Revolutionary War. It is believed that this mill was built by Cary (Archibald Cary) and destroyed by Benedict Arnold’s troops, who dumped the powder in the creek. This was the first powder mill in America.”

The views from inside the house were wonderful – creek on two sides, porch on the back, sun room next to a small lawn on the other side.  There’re two bedrooms upstairs, and two on the first floor. Ceilings are a bit lower than usual.  The basement is very large and recently refurbished – the wall next to the creek was washed away in Gaston (August, 2004) and has been replaced with mortored stone.  The other walls are dry stone, 8 feet thick at the base I was told.

The house will be on the market soon – I don’t know how much they’ll be asking, but it’s worth a visit: 5301 S. Belmont Rd 23234.


20 responses to “Murchies Mill

  1. what a unique place to call “home”!!! any residue of the gunpowder smell?

  2. My parents bought that home in 1969 from the Messerschmidt (spelling?) family; that was the year I was born. They rented it out when my dad was transferred to FL and then CA. When we moved back in 3rd grade (1977), it was exactly the same. My family owned it until the ealy 80s.

    Gaston destroyed the lovely dam, and the sound of the waterfalls is no more.

    Left are the memories of all the sleep-overs and times in those woods; part of my treehouse still exists on the old horse trail (it was a resort decades ago). When we had a sleep-over, my brother and I never had any friend turn down an invitation to sleep-over. Afterall, there was swimming, fishing, a sleeping porch, grapevines for swinging, and acres of woods for exploring or having Star Trek style landing party expeditions.

    Summer (with swimming or sliding on wet rocks) or winter (ice skating and bon fires with hot cocoa), it was always delightful.

    Many days, I wish I were back there now, where I could write in peace – and no, there was never the smell of gunpowder, just the faint hint of a fireplace or perhaps bacon gravy (never sausage gravy), biscuits, and coffee on a Sunday morning.

    What wonderful memories and what a wonderful place that I called home for many years.

    Come to think of it, I still do.

    Eric Marlowe Garrison

  3. Eric, Thanks so much for sharing your memories! I could tell from first view that the place is magical still. Hope the new owners will treasure it.

  4. Paulette Umberger

    My father has pictures of the resort that his father took in the 1920’s. His family lived nearby. He is planning a picture book for family and friends.

    • It must have been a lovely resort!

    • My house was built in 1977, on the road behind Murchies Mill and where (I’ve been told) the resort was located. I would love to know more about the area and the stone columns at the end of road as well as the little cabin house that sits in the middle of the neighborhood. If anyone knows where I can find more information, please let me know.

      • cathytyler

        Tammy, Thanks for your comment and info on the Murchies Mill area. Hopefully someone will post some additional info!

    • Beverly Wheeler

      Paulette is there any way that you could share with me your father’s pictures of the old resort. I lived on the old resort golf course from 1946 until the time I got married. We used the little stone house where they stored their golf clubs for my Dad;s work shop. Thank you, Beverly Wheeler

    • I lived in the log cabin from 1945 until 1985. Denike family. How can I contact to see px of the hotel and grounds? I am so interested in the history of Murchies Mill and my mom even named the road when the county took it over to “murchies Hill rd”

  5. my grandparents, Leland Charles Pease and Ida Estelle Woodcock Pease were the ones who built and owned the amusement park and large hotel at Murchie’s Mill around 1920. Grandaddy built the large stone columns which were the entrance into the area, and there was a picture of an Indian couple painted by a local artist that greeted visitors there. We have pictures if you are interested…please feel free to contact me.

    • Judy,

      Thanks for your insights into the history of Murchie’s Mill. I would love to see some of your photos. If you have electronic copies of two or three, and you’re agreeable, I’ll add them to the blog post.

    • Though the columns that your grandfather built were officially in the Richmond City school district, they marked my Chesterfield County Public Schools bus stop for grades 6-7. Because at that time Belmont Road ended in a cul de sac near our home (the Mill), a bus couldn’t turn around to get out. So each morning – and each afternoon – those columns and the demilune grass lawn in front of them served as my pick-up and drop-off point.

      If you take the road to the right of those columns (Bowland), there are two identical Craftsman-style cottages with the same stone from which the hotel and columns were built.

      If you take the left road, that’s Murchie’s Hill, you’ll see a teeny log cabin on the right that belonged to my elementary school bus driver (who used to pay me $1 every Friday to sweep the bus, since I was the last one off – oh, and back then…Belmot crossed Chippenham, so my brother and I always enjoyed curb-side service until the road was closed later for good!)


    • love to have any pics you had of the mill and hotel. I live on the otherside of Belmont and regularly walk in that neighborhood for exercise.

  6. The two Cratsman-style cottages are the homes that Grandaddy Pease built for his family and the Woodcock family.

    • Judy, Thanks so much for the photos you sent, and the additional historical info on Murchies Mill as a recreational site! I’ve included several of the photographs and some of your notes in today’s post – August 30, 2013.

  7. My father (Vesper Lane) came home from the war and bought 2 parcels of land on the Murchies Mill golf course. He began building our home in 1946 just behind the big fountain on the golf course. That house still stands today it has a partial flat roof on it and the small 2 story home just behind that belonged to my grandparents (Harry & Kate Lane). I would give anything to go back and be able to go through those homes one more time. I am also in close touch with the girl who lived in the little log cabin and the one who lived in the big brick home just behind the gates. I would love it if anyone would share any and all photo that they have of what Murchies Mill was like in it’s heyday. thank You, Beverly Wheeler

  8. Marcia Bryan Curtis

    I have loved reading about Murchies Mill, and so glad it is posted! Does anyone know anything about the Chesterfield Hills Country Club that opened in May of 1926 – where it was located, and if it is still there under another name?

  9. Marcia Bryan Curtis

    I am told that the Chesterfield Hills Country Club was in the area of Warwick Rd, maybe near Broad Rock Middle School and Murchies Mill. Sure would like to know more about it.

  10. Mike Dehaven commented today pm Murchies Mill
    Can I hVe contact for him

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