The 1885 Atlas of Shenandoah and Page counties shows that there were at least 14 mills on Stony Creek 122 years ago. Beginning at Edinburg and traveling upstream along Stony Creek, these mills included: a sawmill at Edinburg, the Whissen gristmill, the Grandstaff grist mill (Edinburg Mill), the S.P. Hollingsworth & Brother’s sawmill, the Vincent & Boehm gristmill, the Lantz grist and sawmill, a gristmill and sawmill at Columbia Furnace, a sawmill and a gristmill upstream of Columbia Furnace, and three gristmills and one feed mill between Liberty Furnace (today’s hamlet of Jerome) and Bayse. There could have been scores of other mills in Shenandoah County. Of all the mills in the county, only seven remain standing today: The Edinburg Mill, the Zirkle Mill (Forestville), the Mount Jackson Mill, the Morgan Carding Mill (Mount Jackson), the Armentrout Mill (Moore’s Store), the Spangler/Artz Mill (Strasburg), and the Stoner/Keller Mill (Fisher’s Hill). The Edinburg Mill and the Zirkle Mill are listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places; the Edinburg Mill and the Lantz Mill are the only mills left along Stony Creek.
Of the remaining mills, only the Lantz mill and the Zirkle Mill still conserve the entire course of the mill’s original water race; however, it is believed that only the Lantz Mill retains all of the water rights associated with the use of the mill dam and mill race, rights which are preserved through a series of easements recorded on the deeds of neighboring properties through which the race traverses. This would theoretically allow the water race and waterwheel to be put back into service following restoration. Nothing remains of the waterwheel at the Edinburg Mill, Mount Jackson Mill or Morgan Mill; and nothing remains of the mill dams at the Edinburg, Mount Jackson, Morgan, Armentrout, Spangler, and Stoner mills. In contrast, these elements are intact at the Lantz Mill. In addition, the Lantz Mill and the Stoner Mill are distinctive among the remaining mills because they were both originally powered by two waterwheels – only one of which remains at the Lantz Mill.
The Lantz mill has most of its 19th century flour equipment intact. This is especially important, as a number of the remaining mills in Shenandoah County have lost part or all of their original machinery through their adaptive reuse as restaurants, shops or storage or residences.