In front of you stood the Germania Mill, built in 1866 by Myer and Frederick Brulle. Both men were immigrant German confectioners who teamed up after the Civil War to became millers.
Fredericksburg's upper canal powered this enterprise and Germania Mills Brand Flour was shipped as far as New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Richmond, and South America.
Business flourished well into the twentieth century and the concrete grain elevator was added in 1917. The days of water powered milling, however, were ending. More cost effective processing elsewhere relegated this once bust industrial building to use as a storage facility. A fire reduced it to a ruin in 1980 and it was fully demolished in 2010.
Germania Mill, Inc
Manufacturers of High Class Brands of Flour and Meal From Choice Wheat and Corn
Choice Superlative and XXXXX
Extra Germania Flour, Family, Meal, All Water Ground.
—(Advertisement from The Daily Star, Fe, 28, 1917)
This 1968 photo shows the old Germania Mill still intact on Caroline Street. In the foreground is the one story City Electric Light Works (inactive since 1919) and in front of that, the stone lined tailrace of the Washington Woolen Mills. (Image courtesy of the Virginia Department of Historic
This drawing by Gustavus Erickson depicts an 1876 fire that destroyed much of the original mill. Myer and Brulle quickly rebuilt and remained in operation for several more decades. (Image courtesy of the Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center)