Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources

062-0028 Tyro Mill

Tyro Mill
Photo credit: Rebecca McGovern/DHR, 2016

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For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 06/08/2006

NRHP Listing Date 08/30/2006

DHR's Virginia Board of Historic Resources easement

NRHP Reference Number 06000749

Situated along the Tye River at the foot of the Blue Ridge in Nelson County, Tyro Mill is a remarkably well-preserved example of automated burrstone milling technology, constructed according to the design principles of mill authority Oliver Evans. The large stone and frame structure was built for plantation owner William Massie in 1846-47, with wooden millworks installed by millwright Matthias Law. Tyro Mill produced flour and meal during the 19th century and powered an ice plant and sawmill in the 20th. A timber frame addition was constructed in the late 19th century and belt drives, steel gears, and metal siding were added in the early 20th century; an overshot wooden wheel that supplied power was later replaced in 1925 by the present steel wheel. Nonetheless, the mill preserves some original machinery, millstones, wooden gears and drive shafts, Dutch doors, and batten window shutters on wrought strap hinges. There are also hoppers, grain bins, chutes and elevators, remnants of bolters and screw conveyors, a husk frame, and other production-related features. A one-room log dwelling traditionally identified as the miller’s house stands nearby. The Tyro Mill’s operation passed through four generations of Massie men until it closed in 1964.

Many properties listed in the registers are private dwellings and are not open to the public, however many are visible from the public right-of-way. Please be respectful of owner privacy.

VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark

Updated: June 24, 2022