Where History Comes Alive

Where History Comes Alive

Colvin Run Mill Historic Site attracts young and old.


Pat McGuire prepares to heat up the fire for blacksmithing at Colvin Run Mill.


The Colvin Run Mill house c. 1809.


The visitors center and general store at the Colvin Run Mill.

The Colvin Run Mill Historic site is a place that can take a person back in time. Traditional grain grinding, make-your-own crank ice cream, farm animals, blacksmithing, woodcarving and old-fashioned games are all attractions of the Colvin Run Mill.

Located at 10017 Colvin Run Road in Great Falls, the mill is open to the public free of charge daily except Tuesdays. The Mill has been open to the public in its current state since 1972. The Mill was functional as early as the first half of the 19th century.

Dawn Kehrer, the collections coordinator, works at the Mill and helps manage the donations and the museum exhibit located in the general store. Her favorite part of working at the Mill is all the old things. "I like talking about how the mill worked 200 years ago," said Kehrer.

She invites everyone to visit Colvin Run Mill, which offers grain-grinding demonstrations every weekend as well as blacksmithing demonstrations and free wood carving lessons.

The Mill also has a barn and a blacksmithing workshop. Pat McGuire of Herndon volunteers at the workshop. He has been blacksmithing for the past 14 years. McGuire demonstrates basic blacksmithing to the visitors of the Mill on weekends. His favorite aspect of volunteering at Colvin Run Mill is the location. "It’s a beautiful setting," he said. McGuire also added that plenty of "nice folk" are around the mill including visitors and staff members.

The Colvin Mill is situated on a 36-acre lot. The grounds have walking paths and many picnic tables.

For more information call the Colvin Run Mill Historic Site at 703-759-2771 or visit online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/crm.