The Delaware River Mill Society
In 1969, Donald Jones bought the Prallsville Mills property for the purpose of tranferring it to the state, which happened in 1973. In 1976, when the State of New Jersey was unable to fund the restoration of its newly acquired Prallsville Mills, local citizens formed Delaware River Mill Society and obtained a long-term lease, which gives the Mill Society the responsibility to “restore, preserve, operate, maintain and interpret” the site.
The Mill has become a place of cultural and environmental events attracting widespread participation. Concerts, art exhibitions, antique shows, holiday parties, school fund-raiser auctions, meetings, as well as private parties, are a source of income for restoration and maintenance of the site.
Prallsville Mills Complex
At one time the Delaware River region was dotted with mills of every size and variety. Our nation’s economic growth was strong because of the variety of industries these mills provided. It was a time when the prevalent technology meant, if you had water, you had a source of power. The very nature of this form of technology also carried its own risks; all those mills were located in flood plains. It is not surprising that few of these grand mills that helped build the economic strength of the area no longer exist.
Prallsville had continued to thrive and survive floods, fires and other natural challenges over the years because it had remained a profitable industrial site. The site’s location in relation to the changing means of transportation ensured its ability to prosper. We are fortunate to have a rare intact early industrial site, which tells the broad story of the interdependence of the development of transportation with commerce.
Today the Prallsville Mills is a resource for a wide variety of cultural, arts and community activities while also providing docent tours of the Mill Complex and the recently preserved miller’s house, the John Prall Jr. House. The Prallsville Mills site is a perfect example of how our historic sites can remain an active asset to the community today while preserving and explaining or country’s story of economic growth in relation our natural resources, transportation development and technology.