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Glade Creek Mill


Glade Creek Mill, the focal point of Babcock State Park, is a much photographed landmark and the most familiar. The mill, actually a composite of two earlier mills, was brought to the banks of Glade Creek in the mid-1970s.

J. C. Boley, who had helped build Babcock State Park during his youthful days as a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) enrollee, served as the park’s superintendent from 1944 to 1956. In his later role as assistant chief of the West Virginia state park system, Boley conceived the mill project to complement the original stone lodge and auxiliary structures at Babcock. He selected the mill site and chose Don Page of the Department of Commerce to design the project.

A two-year search identified two existing mills to provide building parts. However, both mills—Stony Creek Mill in Pocahontas County and Onego Mill in Pendleton County—had been operated by water-powered turbines. State engineers solved the problem of converting the new mill on Glade Creek to a more picturesque overshot water wheel. A Fitz water wheel, as well as enormous gears from the dismantled Meadow River Company lumber mill at Rainelle, were used in the work. A buried two-foot diameter water flume carries water from upstream to turn the wheel. Glade Creek Mill was dedicated in 1976.

Written by Don Page