Three mills and a small village, including a cooper's shop, a soap factory, a shoemaker's shop, a slaughterhouse and a tannery comprised Sleepy Hollow in the 1830's. In 1827 a grist mill was built on this spot along this rapidly flowing branch of the Rouge River by Edward and Harmon Steele, who came from East Bloomfield, New York. This was the first grist mill in Farmington Township, and the only mill in southeast Oakland County. With Howland Mason as partner, they also built a saw mill just downstream of this location. Another saw mill was built by Reverend Eri Prince about one-half mile west and upstream of this site.
When John T. Little bought the mill in the 1840's, he renamed it "Pernambuco" (after a port in Brazil) in memory of his days as a sailor. The area then became known as Pernambuco Hollow, and Pernambuco Flour was widely esteemed in Detroit. Peter Hardenbergh purchased the mill in 1868; it was Hardenbergh's Mill until 1886, and Hardenbergh's Flour. All the millers lived in the Miller's Cottage across the road. The Miller's Cottage was moved from its current location on the south bank by the City of Farmington Hills in 1988 to accommodate the paving of Drake Road. The other home, located immediately south of the Miller's Cottage, was built in the late 1830's on that site by Mark Arnold, the local cooper.
millpond, west of Drake, was the recreational center of the neighborhood. Here youngsters fished and swam in the summer, and skated in the winter. Floods in 1904 and 1908 broke the millpond dam, which was not repaired. The Wadenstorer family, after purchasing the mill in 1902, operated it as a cider mill until the 1930's. The mill operated for 109 years before finally being dismantled in 1936.