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WHILBR - Western Maryland's Historical Library

About this collection

 

 

 DAVID FOUCH (1820-1888) was a master miller in Pleasant Valley, Washington County, Maryland. Pleasant Valley is a narrow valley located in the extreme southern portion of the county. It is bordered on the west by Elk Ridge Mountain, the east by South Mountain, and south by the Potomac River. Located across the river from Harpers Ferry W. Va., the valley is just over a mile wide and six miles in depth. It is drained by Israel Creek which empties into the Potomac at Weverton.

 

David Fouch and his father John arrived in Pleasant Valley in 1839 where John purchased a mill on Israel Creek. John Fouch sold the mill in 1842 when he moved to Ogle County, Illinois. David later managed the mill owned by Michael Bartholow. The 1877 Atlas of Washington County shows M. Bartholow’s grist mill at the mill's location near Brownsville. Family tradition states that the Confederate Army stripped the mill of its contents during the first invasion of Maryland in September, 1862 (Antietam Campaign). David Fouch was paid with Confederate script which became worthless.

 

The mill was located on the south side of the old Soloman's Gap Road, today the main road to the small village of Yarrowsburg. It was powered by water from Israel Creek. The area was first known as Bartholow's Station when the Washington County Railroad was built through the valley in 1867. The station name was later changed to Augusta to honor the name of Augusta Young, who owned the nearby farm. 

 

David and Matilda Fouch

Maryland mill historian John McGrain states in his inventory of Washington County mills that the mill, then owned by Joseph Long, was destroyed in 1900 when sparks from a locomotive set the shingle roof on fire. According to McGrain, the mill was a four story structure. Two of the original millstones are incorporated in the paving of Park Circle in Hagerstown, Maryland.

 

David Fouch was first married to Louisa Grim. The couple had one son. After her death, he married Matilda Norris in 1848 and they had 10 children. All 11 children lived to adulthood. David Fouch several times was appointed road commissioner for south county roads by the Washington County Commissioners.

 

This ledger (1878-84) contains the names of many south county farmers. The Western Maryland Room of the Washington County Free Library contains another Fouch ledger dating 1853-55. Duke University also has a Fouch milling account book in its collection, amongst the Annie Jennings Papers.

------- John Frye, Western Maryland Room, Washington County Free Library. 

David Fouch was John's great grandfather. The paintings were made available by John's son, Dennis Frye

 

Click on Browse All to read the ledger

 
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