Did You Know… Brock Mill History

— Written By Ivy Reid and last updated by Pam Brylowe

Did you know that the Brock Mill dates back to the 1700’s when the first dam was constructed by hand? The millpond itself is fed by underground springs and by Crooked Run Creek with its headwaters in the Hofmann Forest. Only a small portion of the 133 acres is actually seen from Highway 58. The total area of the pond is 122 acres of water and 11 acres of land including small islands. The outlet for the pond drains the water into the Trent River southeast of the town of Trenton. The depth of the pond is 30 feet in several spots but the average depth is 12 feet.

According to research conducted by Stella Virginia Heritage, there was a Revolutionary War deed to a pond in this area around 1738 or 1739. In 1779 records show a sale of the property by Richard Sharp and Elizabeth Reynolds of Craven County to Lewis Bryan. In 1796 the property was sold again to Anthony Hatch and became known as Hatch’s Mill. During the next several years, ownership changed several times, however the name of Hatch’s Mill remained constant. In 1834, James McDaniel purchased the property and changed the name to McDaniel’s Mill . This name also remained through several other owners. In 1899 J.P. Brogden sold it to W. H. Hammond and Furnifold Brock. One year later, Mr. Brock bought out his partner’s share and deeded the property to his wife, Myrtle Foscue Brock.

When Mr. Brock purchased the property, the gristmill was on site. This dated back to 1861. Goods being produced at the mill included corn meal, grits and cracked corn for livestock or chicken feed. The sawmill operated on the site until the early 1940’s. In 1917, Mr. Brock installed a turbine generator to provide electricity for the town of Trenton. Late in the afternoon, the turbine was turned on making power for Trenton’s residents. At 10 p.m. the lights blinked twice signifying that the power would be cut off in fifteen minutes. This service continued until Tidewater Power Company purchased the franchise.

As you can see the mill property has a rich history and it is a major focal point for Jones County. Because of this the county is looking to determine what to do with the property. As you ride by the mill think about what you would like to see on the property, a nature trail, canoe/kayak trail, a visitor’s center, fishing, a photo destiny, a working mill, etc. We need your help on this!

On Monday, May 6 at 10 a.m. or 6 p.m. there will be focus groups conducted by the NCSU School of Design. This will give you an opportunity to voice your opinion and help make a determination on the future of the mill. The focus groups will be held at the Jones County Civic Center and they will both contain the same information so you only have to participate in one session. You need to be prepared to devote one and a half hours to this process. For more information or to RSVP, please contact Ivy Reid at 252-448-9621 or ivy_reid@ncsu.edu.

This article was composed by Ivy Reid, Jones County Cooperative Extension Director using information written by Charlie Brock. Special thanks goes to Charlie for sharing this information.

North Carolina State University and North Carolina A&T State University commit themselves to positive action to secure equal opportunity regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, sex, age, veteran status, or disability. In addition, the two Universities welcome all persons without regard to sexual orientation. North Carolina State University, North Carolina A&T State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and local governments cooperating.

This article will be published in the Jones Post newspaper on April 25, 2013 and was compiled by Ivy Reid, Director.