The State Historic Preservation Office voted yes this morning on the nomination of a water-powered mill in Beckley to be included in the National Register of Historic Places. Commissioners and State Board Members had their seasonal meeting this morning, and the Alfred Beckley Mill was at the top of their to-do list.
Dan Pezzoni, the Principal of Landmark Preservation Associates, told us, “It’s being nominated for its archaeological potential. It’s potential to tell us more about history of both the site and of Raleigh County and the city of Beckley.”
The mill was built in 1838 by Alfred Beckley, the city of Beckley’s founder and namesake. Parts of the sandstone walls that supported and contained the mill are still visible at the site, which currently does not have an easy access to, and could be why the structure has slipped from public memory.
“Right now it’s quite a hike, down in and out. I think that’s probably why they are careful about encouraging people to go down there now,” Pezzoni added.
However, with the approval of making the site a landmark, the committee now plans to develop a trail all along Piney Creek that will include hiking and biking paths, so that residents and tourists can visit what once was once the center of Beckley.