Archives of Maryland
(Biographical Series)

Newlin's Mill

Brookeville, Montgomery County, Maryland
Founded and owned by David Newlin, c. 1798-1828


Newlin's mill cottage was home to whoever operated the mill. It still stands today.
John O. Brostrup, 1936. Historic American Buildings Survey. Library of Congress.

Some time before 1798, Montgomery County resident David Newlin obtained a three acre parcel of land in a tract known as "Brooke Grove."1 By 1804, he had constructed a saw mill, a plaster mill, and an oil mill capable of producing high quality linseed and castor oil.2

During the War of 1812, after the United States had enacted embargoes that blocked the importation of British goods such as manufactured wool and cotton, and domestic manufacturing once again became a viable business option, Newlin opened the Brookeville Woolen Mill about one mile east of Brookeville.3 Despite a short period of prosperity for Newlin, the embargoes were lifted at the end of the war, and profitability of domestic woolen manufacturing took a steep downturn.4
By 1826, Newlin had sold his failing woolen mill to Jehu Price.5

In an attempt to save the remainder of his struggling mill business in following years, Newlin amassed several thousand dollars of debt to his neighbors, including prominent Brookeville resident Caleb Bentley.
In October of 1828, after a lengthy legal battle over Newlin's debts, Bentley acquired Newlin's oil and grist mills at no cost by outbidding all other potential buyers in an auction that he held himself.6 Newlin's son Atemus eventually regained control of the oil and grist mills, and after going through several changes of ownership, the mills ceased operations in the early 1900s.

For a  more detailed description of Newlin's Mill and its operations, see the biography of David Newlin.

Jackson Gilman-Forlini and Kyle Bacon, DAR Research Fellows, 2012


  1. MONTGOMERY COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF THE TAX (Assessment Record) 1798 Assessment District 4, MdHR 20,115-2-1 [MSA C1110-2, 01/18/14/018].
  2. Joseph Scott, A Geographical Description of the States of Maryland and Delaware (Philadelphia: Kimber. Conrad and Co., 1807), 147.
  3. MONTGOMERY COUNTY COURT (Land Records) Deed, Aquila Taylor to David Newlin, December 9, 1812, Liber Q, p. 179 [MSA CE 148-17]; Advertisement, "Brookeville Woolen Factory," The Georgetown Messenger, June 15, 1816.
  4. Fourth Census of the United States, 1820, Manufactures (Washington, D.C.: National Archives, 1965) p. 199, 22, 239; For examples of personal property valuations see MONTGOMERY COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF THE TAX (Assessment Record) 1813 and 1820 Assessments, Districts 1 and 4, MdHR 20,115-3-1 [MSA C1110-3, 01/18/14/019]; Newlin purchased many household items between 1803 and 1819, which are documented in bills of sale stored with the Montgomery County land records. These items were taken from the private estates of his neighbors and were presumably for personal use. For an example of one such purchase, see: MONTGOMERY COUNTY COURT (Land Records) Bill of Sale, Cesar Williams to David Newlin, November 15, 1819, Liber V, p. 20 [MSA CE 148-23].
  5. MARYLAND HISTORICAL TRUST (Inventory of Historic Sites) Brookeville Woolen Mill, M: 23-69, Montgomery County [MSA SE5-17396]No official record exists for Newlin's sale of the mill to Jehu Price. However, Price is marked as owning the property in the following record: MONTGOMERY COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF THE TAX (Assessment Record) 1826 Assessments, District 4, MdHR 20,115-3-1 [MSA C1110-3, 01/18/14/019].
  6. CHANCERY COURT (Chancery Papers) Caleb Bentley vs. David Newlin, 1828, Mortgage foreclosure on Addition to Brooke Grove, MdHR 17,898-6328 [MSA S512-6392, 1/37/3/21]MONTGOMERY COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT (Insolvency Record) 1827-1835. p. 357 [MSA T939-1, 01/13/09/034]

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