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Arlington Falls

Arlington Falls, also known as Fidlers Mill Falls, is a 10-foot-high cascade adjacent to Fiddlers Mill along the Little Kanawha River in Upshur County, West Virginia.

History

The first mill along the north bank of the Little Kanawha River in Arlington was constructed in 1821 by Daniel Peck. In 1847, William Fidler emigrated from Fluvanna County, Virginia, and after spending a year in Buckhannon, he purchased a 200-acre farm in Arlington which included Peck’s mill. Fidler then enlarged the mill in 1849 with the help of several slaves who reportedly helped lay the stone foundation and run the mill operations, which provided ground wheat and buckwheat for flour, ground cornmeal, and feed for farm animals.

The mill’s power was derived from a dam and a wooden mill race that diverted water from the stream to power a 20-foot overshot wheel. This engaged the gears and shafts to power two stone burr’s (millstones) which were ordered from France for $100. The race also powered a sawmill which was located upstream from the mill.

After the death of William in 1865, his son William Martin Fidler took over the operation and ran the mill until his death in 1901. The mill property was then sold to E.G. Wilson who enlarged the facility, adding a second floor.

Wilson encountered financial difficulties after several years and sold the mill property to Hudson V. Fidler who continued to operate the milling operation with the help of his son Russell. During this time, Russell would often cut hair for local residents as they waited for their milling order on a barber chair in the front of the mill.

Operations ceased for several years after a flood along the river washed out the dam in 1942. After World War II, the Fidler family purchased a Hammermill machine that continued to provide cornmeal for local families as the demand for wheat, buckwheat, and rye had dropped off.

The mill was sold to the Grafton Coal Company in 1978 who then donated the property to the Southern Upshur County Business Association in 1988.

Resources

Arlington Falls

Arlington Falls, also known as Fidler's Mill Falls, is a 10-foot-high cascade along the Little Kanawha River.

(304) 924-5838

From Interstate 79 at Flatwoods, follow US Route 19 north for 21 miles. Turn right onto WV Route 4 north and continue for 7.3 miles. Turn right onto WV Route 20 south and follow for 3 miles. Turn right onto WV County Route 20/15 and follow for .2 miles to the mill and waterfall parking area.

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