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VIRGINIA ROCHELLES


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ROCHELLE MILL SITE


Location: One-half mile north of Handsom, Virginia, on Plantation Road leading to what is now known as HANDS place.
Date: Before 1748. The date here is not known but the mill has not been in operation since 1800.
Owners: This mill was built and operated by the ROCHELLE family, who were among the first settlers of this section. They were owners of what is now known as the Sam HAND tract. This property was owned by the ROCHELLE family until about 1800, when it came into the possession of John GIRLEY, who remained in ownership until 1855. The property was then sold to Mr. Sam HAND. Since it passed out of the possession of the HAND family, it has been cut up into many small tracts. The mill site is now owned by George BRANCH, colored.
Description: There is not anything left of the old mill, except one large mill stone and the original dam.
Historical Significance: This was one of the first mills established in what is now Southampton County and is the oldest in this section of the country. It was operated by the ROCHELLE family who are still represented by a number of descendants.
Sources of Information: Informants: Mr. John F. BISHOP, Handsom, Virginia; Mr. Samuel BISHOP also of Handsom, Virginia; and Mr. J. S. HEDGEPITH of the same place. Also: Court Records, Southampton County, Virginia.
Source:"Works Progress Administration of Virginia Historical Inventory" sponsored by the Virginia Conservation Commission under the direction of its Division of History.
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Photo of the Rochelle Mill Site