Prince George's County Department of Parks and Recreation
Adelphi Mill
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History

Adelphi Mill is the only surviving mill in Prince George’s County and one of the oldest and largest mills surviving in the Washington D.C. area.  Built ca. 1796, Adelphi Mill is a two-story fieldstone building with gable ends framed above the roof line.  At the three-bay north end is a central doorway with flanking windows.  The mill stands on the north bank of the Northwest Branch of the Anacostia River.     

Historical Significance

The 37-acre tract on which Adelphi Mill stands was originally composed of parts of two tracts called “Gilead” and “Cramphin’s Lot.”  Issachar and Mahlon Scolfield re-surveyed these lots in 1796 and renamed the whole “Adelphi,” which means “brothers” in Greek.  The brothers may have built the mill and storehouse before 1798; both buildings appear on the 1798 Federal Direct Tax under the name of the owner, Philip Fitzhugh, with James Veitch and Thomas Beatty identified as the occupants. 

The mill changed hands many times in the early nineteenth century until it was purchased by George Washington Riggs in 1865.  Riggs was the founder of the Riggs and Company Banking House in Washington D.C. and a successful real estate entrepreneur.  After his death in 1881, the mill property passed to his son, T.L. Riggs, and in 1897 to his other son, Elisha Francis Riggs, who by then had reorganized his father’s bank into Riggs National Bank.  

The mill remained in the Riggs family until 1920 and was known by then as the Riggs Mill.  The last private owners were the McCormick-Goodhart family who lived ½ mile west of the mill at the Chillum Castle Mansion.  They conveyed the mill and surrounding parkland to M-NCPPC in 1951.