The picture was taken about 1883. The mill was reportedly abandoned in late 1885 and torn down in 1892. Steam equipment was added, but was never used.
From the book “Milton, Pennsylvania, the 19th Century Town on Limestone Run” by Homer F. Folk; photo courtesy of the Milton Historical Society: The stone mill was constructed by George Eckert, Jr. in 1815 on the same site as Andrew Straub’s wooden mill, which Eckert razed. After Eckert’s death, the mill went to his brother-in-law, George Baker. Part of it was swept away by the Great Limestone Run flood of 1817. It was quickly rebuilt. Water-powered until after the fire of May 14, 1880, it had two overshot wheels with a fall of sixteen feet. Water turned the wheels thirty revolutions per minute generating thirty horsepower on each wheel.
From June 1, 1879 to May 31, 1880 the mill, with ten full time employees, produced seven hundred barrels of wheat flour, twenty barrels of rye, 20,280 pounds of cornmeal and 67,800 pounds of feed with a value of nine thousand, six hundred and seventeen dollars. Profit for the year was one thousand, seven hundred and fifty-seven dollars. The mill operated four stones and paid skilled workers one dollar and fifty cents a day. Laborers were paid ninety cents a day. Unable to compete with steam operated mills with roller grinders, the Baker estate built a brick smoke stack and a brick building to house a boiler and steam engine. No longer needing Limestone Run, they closed the mill race. If they ever installed a boiler and steam engine, these would have been taken to his new factory when Samuel J. Shimer began to negotiate with the Baker estate and mortgage holders. All deeds were completed by August 1889 and Samuel J. Shimer owned the land and buildings from the main line of the railroad to the Susquehanna River. He used the limestone from the mill in his factory buildings.
Photo below courtesy of the Milton Historical Society: This picture of the back of the mill was taken in 1880, after the Great Fire.