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Loucks Mill key to Codorus Canal

YorksPast continues the series of posts exploring the history of the Codorus Canal. Completed in November of 1833, this canal allowed navigating 70-foot long canal boats between downtown York and the Susquehanna River.

Part three explores pertinent history of Loucks Mill. Information within agreements, and lawsuits, between mill owner George Loucks and the Codorus Navigation Company provide key insights into the design of a challenging section canal immediately north of York.

The two photographs look west towards Loucks Mill, while standing on the roadway known as Arsenal Road later in its existence. The upper, ca. 1870, photo shows the tall brick mill, surrounded by horse drawn wagons and a railroad car, at the left side; filled with barrels of flour. This Northern Central rail siding to the south side of Loucks Mill can be seen in the annotated 1894 Sanborn map.

The lower, 1969 photo was taken shortly before the mill was demolished, in order to widen the elevated 2-lane Arsenal Road, to create a 4-lane Route 30. Click on this LINK for a yorkblog.com Full View of the original photos in this post if details are cut off in the cropping of photos, or if they have been removed from the ydr.com site.

A neat 1948 annotated aerial photo of the whole area surrounding Loucks Mill can be seen at this LINK.

The links to the other posts in this series follow:

In Part 2, we learned of Canal engineer Simeon Guilford plans for the Codorus Navigation Canal involving “Louck’s dam, which would be removed; and another substituted at the present head of the millpond, to supply with water a canal cut thence to the mill.” A short history of Loucks Mill and how it was oriented on the east side of Codorus Creek is beneficial background.

Bartholemew Maul built the first mill at this site between 1743 and 1758. There have been many owners, however the mill is generally known as Loucks Mill, due to the four generations of Loucks that owned the mill between 1805 and 1901.

The mill building shown in the photos is not the Loucks Mill, which stood at the time the Codorus Navigation Canal was being built. In 1830, Loucks Mill was a 2-story stone mill; whose walls collapsed during a fire on April 29, 1864. The shown brick mill was completed on the same site, February 1, 1865, and stood for 104-years.

The last run of the mill under waterpower was during June of 1928 when Samuel Hershey owned the mill. The Loucks Mill Dam was removed during the summer of 1929. Mill details are per Grant Voaden (GV#50) research; accessed at the York County History Center.

As you’ll see next week, in Part 4, the water feeding the head race to operate the overshoot water wheels, then water turbines, in Loucks Mill was tied to the Codorus Canal in such a manner, that even after the canal boats ceased to operate, certain parts of the canal remained in the immediate vicinity at least until 1929.

Links to related posts include:

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