Taylor's Mill, located in Readington Township was nominated to Preservation New Jersey’s 10 Most Endangered Historic Sites list for 2023. The mill is a stone grist mill built circa 1760 by Colonel John Taylor. John Taylor, who served in the Revolution as a member of the 4th Hunterdon Militia, and eventually achieved the rank of General, was an Englishman by birth, owned and ran the mill.
In 2023, Preservation New Jersey (‘PNJ’) promised its continued support to work with the newly nominated 10 Most sites throughout the year. In partnership with Patricia Fisher-Olsen, chair of the township’s Historic Preservation Commission who nominated the mill for annual 10 Most Endangered Historic Sites list, PNJ hosted a community clean up event.
“As we prepare for the celebration of the 250th anniversary of the founding of this nation, The Readington Township Historic Preservation Commission and the Friends of Taylor Mill want to thank Preservation NJ for the opportunity to bring to the public attention an important historic structure tied to the founding of this nation that needs help from the preservation community,” shared Olsen.
Since being listed, Olsen and community members formed a new non-profit organization, the Friends of Col. John Taylor’s Grist Mill Inc. to further the public interest in the preservation, conservation, and education of Readington Township’s historic sites, which enrich the sense of place as told through the built environment.
On Sunday, November 19, 2023, nearly 40 people swarmed the site of John Taylor’s Mill, removing debris, garbage, and overgrown vegetation. PNJ’s Executive Director, President, and board members were joined by members of the Friends of John Taylor’s Grist Mill, members of the community, the township’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and employees of the township Department of Public Works. Current and past township officials, including former mayors John Albanese and Betty Ann Fort also supported the event. It was an overwhelming turnout for the significant historic site.
Taylor’s Mill played an important role as a grain supplier for Washington’s Army and remains significant for its contributions to the war effort during the American Revolution. The site also contributes to local history of industry and commerce. Although the site was acquired nearly thirty years ago, structures have been lost over time through demolition by neglect. The current ruins have been in a state of threat; however with this outpouring of support, and the creation of the Friends of Taylor’s Mill, PNJ and the community are hopeful to see the stabilization of the site completed by 2026.
PNJ will continue to support Taylor’s mill and strongly encourages municipalities, counties, and statewide bodies to use this partnership as a model in engaging and exploring ways to preserve New Jersey’s role in America’s history as we move towards America’s 250th celebrations.