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From 1680 to 1779, Philipsburg Manor was a thriving farming, milling, and trading center north of New York City owned by the Philipses, a family of Anglo-Dutch merchants. Part of the Upper Mills property in Sleepy Hollow, New York, is now a historic site featuring a gristmill built on the Pocantico River.

Originally constructed in about 1962 by skilled craftsmen brought up from Williamsburg, Virginia,  the reconstructed Philipsburg Manor mill was based on evidence from excavations and some written history about the original 17th century mill. Over the next 53 years, repairs were made as needed, but when the entire system failed in 2015,  Clemco Construction & Restoration was hired to perform a complete rebuilding project.

Existing conditions with the mill out of operation.

Foreman Nelson Petza on an early

spring 2016 reconnaissance tour.

All components totally "shot."

First step was the installation of scaffolding around the work area,

a tricky process involving a very mucky, unstable river bottom.

The construction of a perimeter dyke involved the hand filling of a LOT of sandbags - 7500 to be exact!

Sharing our workspace with a flock of Canada Geese that specialized in begging for bread and pooping on our roadway.

Each bag carefully placed by hand in approximately 6 ft. of very chilly water. With our dyke almost complete, it's time to bring on the pumps!

Careful measuring and mapping and then disassembly.

The submerged axle support caissons and above water cribbing almost complete. Flume pilings are in as well.

Heavy timber construction = good exercise!

Axle cribbing is done and the flume is beginning to shape up.

The exposed ends of the stretcher timbers mimic the rounded over tenons in the nearby 17th century barn.

The wheel components were fabricated offsite by good friend and master craftsman Bojan Petek, then assembled in place by the entire crew as the project neared completion.

Foreman Nelson Petza drives a paddle into the wheel.

A trickle of water comes down the completed flume as the millpond above refills. Then the first test after 4 months of work was a nail-biter, but the champagne was quickly uncorked after she ran like a finely tuned 17th century Dutch mill!

We build beautiful new homes and restore historic buildings, churches, and houses. Since 1975, we have offered award-winning historic restoration and construction services throughout Westchester County and Putnam County in New York State.

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