York Town Square

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Old York Flour Mill grinds away: ‘In the end, we’re all just millers’

The old York Flour Mill, now operated by Conagra, operates quietly near the Codorus Creek, north of York, Pa., as it has done for decades. Pictured here is a bunch of screwballs, used as part of the milling filtering process. A mill spokesman says the term screwball comes from the milling business. The balls are placed above a filtering screen, and their bouncing keeps the filter clear. (See photo of this York Narrows mill below.) Also of interest: Glen Rock Mill Inn: ‘They are happy to see it open again’ and Part of York County’s past, Biesecker Mill, goes on the auction block and Pioneering sisters operated York County grist mill near Cross Roads and Felton landmark: ‘The mill at one time was gossip central’.

Photographer Bil Bowden documented the old mill – York Flour Mill – located on the west bank of the Codorus Creek in York Narrows.

It’s a sprawling and towering grist mill, but it’s largely unknown, almost hiding in the valley where the Codorus Creek carves through the hills north of York. (Update, 4/26/15: The mill will get some company, not that the northern extension of the rail trail now runs through the narrows).
Here are some bullet points of neat stuff he reported from his time there: … .

At one time, the York Flour Mill building was one of four such agribusinesses operating in a three-mile stretch of the Codorus Creek.
– For years, the mill was widely known as the Codorus Mill, the largest of the group of four mills in that vicinity.
– Its silos stand 140-feet tall and house wheat from the midwest and Canada.
– Much of the mill’s output goes to Kraft in Maryland for use in the making of Stovetop Stuffing.
– “In the end,” manager Sean Gager says. “We’re all just millers.”
Products: According to Lila Fourhman-Shaull’s “The Mills of York County,” output from the mill included the following brands: King of the North, Old Faithful, White Rose, Just Right, Guest, and of course, Codorus, flour.
One other point of interest: This mill was one of the P.A. & S. Small mills captured by – and guarded by – the Confederates in their two-day occupation of York County in late-June 1863.
To see additional Bowden photos and information from his mill work, visit: Flour power.
Others photos from around York County:
Photographer tramps to far reaches of York County and A far different view of York County and Simple photograph helps frame York, Pa.’s, future.
All York Town Square posts from the start. (Key word search by using “find” on browser.)