Old Fuoss Mill Burns To The Ground

In 1833 the trail was rugged, rocky and full of snakes. From Sinking Valley, David pressed forward and made it over Brush Mountain. In the shadow of the blue mountains surrounding the wide expansive valley, the Juniata River cut through the land and would be the perfect place for his new home.  Beside the rushing water he worked tirelessly for three months erecting a beautiful twenty room home. He looked at his wife and son, “we are going to name this place Beyer’s Mill.”

He worked day and night digging a deep race, lining it with stones from the river. He hired skilled workers to chisel out man-sized rocks from the mountain side, using his strong Draft horses he hauled them to the river placing each one in the perfect spot to build a high dam above the race. Two months later working with builders he erected the Burr Flour Mill beside his home and a Saw Mill at the north end of the race. Then he could manufacture his own lumber and would not need to make the trip to Tyrone to buy it.

Through the years David Beyer and his family ran the small town. It prospered, growing to a large community of fifty happy influential families.

Then in May 1926 it happened. By now the town changed names to Fuoss Mills.  Both the mill and house owned by M. A. Chasewood, who just three years ago purchased the property, from William Fuoss.

The trolley car tracks were blocked by a truck. The engineer couldn’t slow the car fast enough. Breaks screeched, squealing as the car crashed into the truck, the biting smell of gasoline filled the air, as it pushed the truck into the ditch, where it over turned and dumped its full load of fuel into an underground conduit leading to the race running 150 yards to the mill. At the back of the mill a worker on a break stood at the door, lit his cigar and flipped the burning match into the race. The explosion of flames filled the race engulfing the mill, the 20 room house and all the grass around their home. The blaze raced back to the truck and exploded the tank, burning it to the frame. The drivers of the truck and trolley car escaped injury.

Three fire companies from Tyrone, and one from Bellwood responded, they were able to save two other houses nearby. All the chicken pens and other small buildings were leveled.

The mill was never rebuilt, but the community of Fuoss Mills continued to grow, prospering year after year.

Thank you for Traveling With Me.


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