Demo Days at the Thompson-Neely Grist Mill

Thompson Neely Mill


The Chapter is looking into a visit to a local mill operating the technology devised by our namesake, Oliver Evans. Also members might be interested in a visit to this farm and mill complex recently opened after restoration to a working mill by volunteers. Now the building will be able to function as a 19th century period-accurate grist mill, and tours will explore how the mill once fit into the farmstead.

Posted by Washington Crossing Historic Park on Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Demonstration Days at the Grist Mill

See the newly restored Thompson-Neely Grist Mill in action during a live milling demonstration on Sunday, May 20, June 17, July 15, August 19, September 16 or October 21. Demonstrations will be held at noon, 1:30 PM and 3 PM.

During a demonstration, the park’s miller will use 19th century techniques and tools to demonstrate how the Grist Mill would have functioned as part of the Thompson-Neely Farmstead.

Admission is $7 per person and includes a guided tour of the Grist Mill and Thompson-Neely House and Farmstead. Visitors who have purchased a $15 multi-site tour on a Demo Day may attend a demonstration at no charge.

The mill is located across the street from the Thompson-Neely House and Farmstead, 1635 River Road, New Hope, PA.




saylor cement kilns

Association for Preservation Technology Delaware Valley Chapter (APT-DVC)

and the Oliver Evans Chapter of the Society for Industrial Archeology




Please join APT-DVC and the Oliver Evans (Philadelphia) Chapter of the Society for Industrial Archeology on Saturday, June 9 for an expanded tour program as we explore the cement manufacturing industry in the Lehigh Valley. This tour will run from 11:00 am to approximately 4:00 pm and will include historic cement manufacturing sites such as the Coplay Cement Company vertical kilns; a museum dedicated to the Atlas Cement Company, the cement manufacturing giant of the 20th century; and an active cement manufacturing plant, LaFargeHolcim.

The Coplay Cement Company constructed 8 vertical-type brick kilns for the production of cement between 1893 and 1904. These kilns are among the last of the vertical-type kilns remaining in the US (and possibly the world), as the more efficient rotary-type kiln was developed soon after their construction. This tour will include an introduction to the history of the cement industry in the Lehigh Valley, the Coplay Cement Company, and the vertical kilns. A discussion of the kilns’ conditions, conservation issues, and attempts to stabilize and preserve the kilns will follow. Attendees will then take a hard hat tour of the kilns. Guides include Preston Hull of Building Conservation Associates, Inc., Brian Wentz of Keast & Hood, Erik Valentino of Masonry Preservation Services, and Vanessa Della Torre of Spillman Farmer Architects.

The Atlas Cement Company was one of the largest cement manufacturing companies of the 20th century. Started in the Lehigh Valley in 1889, Atlas manufactured cement out of their Northampton plant for such incredible structures such as the Panama Canal, the Empire State Building, and the Holland Tunnel. Atlas closed their doors in 1982 and soon after Ed Pany, whose father worked at Atlas his entire life (and who himself worked there during summers in the 1950s), created the Atlas Cement Company museum, collecting over 3,000 artifacts. This tour will be conducted by Ed Pany, where he will talk about the history of the Atlas Cement Company through the many artifacts he has collected.

LaFargeHolcim is the largest cement and building materials manufacturing company in the world, with plants in 80 countries. The company was started in 1883 in France and their Whitehall, PA plant has been in use since 1899, making Whitehall one of the oldest operating cement plants in the United States. This tour will include a brief lecture on plant safety and the manufacturing process followed by a tour of the plant to see all of the equipment that used to make the product, from quarry to shipping.

Safety Equipment

The tour includes a hardhat walkthrough of the Coplay site. Please bring your own hardhat. If you cannot provide a hardhat, please email Kevin Wohlgemuth ( and APT-DVC may be able to provide one for your use. All Personal Protective Equipment for the tour of the LaFarge plant will be provided by LaFarge. All they ask is that you wear closed-toed shoes.


The tour will begin PROMPTLY at 11 am on Saturday, June 9 at the LaFarge Whitehall plant. It is about 1.5 hours north of Philadelphia at 5160 Main Street, Whitehall, PA 18052. Please arrange to carpool, as parking space will be limited. Please let Kevin know if you can volunteer to drive others. The registration fee for carpool drivers (at least 3 in a car) will be refunded as reimbursement for gas.


$20 for members of APT-DVC or SIA. A box lunch including sandwich (vegetarian options will be available), chips, cookie, and a bottled water, is included in registration. Please let Kevin know if you will not require a boxed lunch.

Free for carpool drivers (at least 3 in a car).

Limit 10 APT-DVC attendees and 10 SIA attendees. Please select the appropriate membership when registering so that we have an accurate head count.

Reference Material:

Subway Archeologist


Here is link to an article in the New Yorker highlighting the work of a dedicated individual, Philip Ashforth Coppola, who has taken on the mission of recording the 472 subway stations in New York City.

His work is currently featured at the New York Transit Museum.

Selections of his drawings have been published in a book called One Track Mind.

A documentary on him can be viewed by those who are Amazon Prime members.

Oliver Evans of Newport, Delaware

On May 10th from 7-9pm at Greenbank Mills & Philips Farm, join us as we get to the grist of this amazing and remarkable man, born not far from our historic mill. Known primarily for the grist milling system that caught the eyes of both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, Oliver Evans was a mind so ingenuitive that his mark upon our country is undeniable. And what grist mill would be complete without its water system? Join us for the lock down on this fascinating and innovative system!

Light refreshment will be provided.

Admission to this presentation is free, though we graciously and gratefully accept donations.

For more information please visit our website,, email us at or call 302-999-9001. Greenbank Mills and Philips Farm is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to preserving the Greenbank Mill National Historic District and expanding public knowledge of Red Clay Valley industrial, agricultural and social history through educational programming, recreational rental facilities, and community partnerships.


Program Reminder

Breweries of the Schuylkill: A Virtual Trip Upstream


Rich Wagner, PA Brewery Historian


Date: Monday, May 7, 2018

Time:  5:30 Refreshments

             6:15 Program

Cost: $10 per person if preregistered       $15 if not reserved in advance

Place: Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center

You can park in the Circle, closer to the FWWIC

Registration: E-mail names and phone numbers of members and guests to: or phone Reese at 610-692-4456