February 1996

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Mallory's Mill


Bill Treichler

The Mallory stone mill, which still stands as one of the prominent landmarks in the Village of Hammondsport, on Pulteney Street, was begun in 1835 and finished in 1836 by Meridith Mallory of Yates County. About $30,000 was invested in the engineering and construction of the mill. It is four stories high and had three overshot water wheels, one above another. Water was brought from the Hammondsport Glen in a canal or race dug along the sidehill.

John Capell of Penn Yan was the master millwright, and Mr. Van Autrick, son-in-law of Mr. Mallory, the engineer. The mill was a first class merchant and custom mill all finished in splendid order with four sets of millstones. At the time it was finished it was the largest free-standing stone building, except for the Statehouse, in New York State.

Had the expectations of Mr. Mallory been realized, it no doubt would have been a fine property, but the planners had failed to realize that the water supply would freeze in winter months and there would be no power to drive the machinery.

By 1840, the mill was closed. Until 1881 it was used only as a storehouse, first for grain storage, then in later years by merchants for different goods.

In 1881, the Glen Wine Company was organized, with a capital of $10,000, and began operations at the mill. They had a capacity of 100,000 gallons of wine and 100,000 bottles of champagne. A. F. Bricout was superintendent and secretary. William H. Hallock, owner of the Hallock Bank in Bath, bought the property in 1901. H. C. Roualet was then appointed secretary and general superintendent, and the name was changed to the Roualet Wine Company. The buildings and stock were severely damaged by the flood of 1935.

The mill then passed through several owners. It is owned today by Mercury Aircraft Co. and is used for storage.

Meredith Mallory was born in 1773 in Connecticut. He built his first mill where the outlet from Lake Keuka begins at Penn Yan. When the Wagener brothers raised their downstream dam and flooded his tailwater, the wheels stopped turning in Mallory's mill.

He later built a mill at the cascade on the outlet, the largest mill on the outlet in 1835, processing $45,000 worth of grain each year. Mallory, who for awhile resided in Hammondsport, bought Samuel Lawrence's mills on the outlet in 1835. The sawmill alone grossed more than $10,000 year.

Mallory went into debt, perhaps for his political ambitions (he was elected to the state Assembly and to Congress) and was forced into bankruptcy in 1843.

© 1996, Bill Treichler
The author thanks Dick Scherer and Fran Dumas for their research.
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