Hazzard Mill House
Location: Bentonville, VA
Nestled in the George Washington National Forest on the banks of the Shenandoah River, lies the stone foundation of Hazzard Mill, a quiet reminder of the colorful history and rustic beauty of the Shenandoah Valley. Built in the early 1800’s, the Mill served the local farming community for nearly a century, grinding corn and wheat until 1921 when its owner dismantled the Mill’s heavy timber and wood clapboard frame for the erection of a barn.
The remaining stone foundation was left to the elements until 1982 when the new owner purchased the site in hope of reconstructing the mill. Unfortunately the original foundation was found to be within the river’s flood plain, dashing hopes to rebuild on the original stonework. Instead, a design for a new house overlooking the original foundation and river was developed. The new Hazzard Mill House is a careful blend of old and new. The exterior elevations are reminiscent of an old mill while the interior offers all the conveniences of a modern vacation retreat.
Sited high on the banks of the Shenandoah River, overlooking the ruins of the old mill, the new house is a worthy tribute its predecessor. Stone, horizontal cedar siding and a cedar shake roof were used to be consistent with materials originally used on Hazzard Mill. The entrance is approached by a curved path bordered by a curved a stone wall which visually connects the driveway to the house. Even the copper lanterns feel right.
The interior of the house is visually anchored by a central stairwell, which rises three stories to a heavily windowed cupola. The use of a steel grate floor in the cupola delivers many benefits. Aside from the lovely exposed framing that’s visible from below, the floor allows light to filter throughout the center of the house and enables warm air to escape through the cupola windows, passively cooling the home.
The basic structure of the house consists of four major columns surrounded by exterior bearing walls. All interior columns, beams, and floor joists were reclaimed from an old tobacco barn and the interior walls are paneled with silver grey barn board siding that was also salvaged from a tobacco barn. Heartwood pine floors add a warm contrast to the silver grey walls giving the interior of the house a warm, rustic appearance. Handmade kitchen cabinets, solid slate counters, corner cupboards, mantles and shelving add to the dramatic effect of the interior. Construction of the 2430 square foot house, which included restoration of the Mill foundation, is writing a bright new chapter to the history of Hazzard Mill.