Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources

070-0006 Cockram Mill

Cockram Mill
Photo credit: Wikipeida, 2011

*Click on image to enlarge.

For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 10/16/1990

NRHP Listing Date 12/06/1990

NRHP Reference Number 90001842

Nestled in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Patrick County, Cockram Mill is one of Virginia’s handful of operating historic mills. It was built around 1885 by Jesse Blackard who used driving power from the headwaters of the Dan River to produce cornmeal, grits, buckwheat flour, livestock feed, wooden boxes, and lumber. Built with mass production in mind, the mill was unique within the local Appalachian area by virtue of having two turbine wheels instead of the usual overshot wheel. The mill introduced to the area such innovative processes as the ability to clean and shell grain. The business was purchased by W. A. Cockram in 1921. During the 1930s Cockram Mill was also the area’s first and only private facility to produce electricity for sale. The mill fell into disuse in the 1970s but was restored to working order in 1984.

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: August 3, 2021