History of Lane's Mill

Lane's MillLane’s Mill Chapter is named for the Lane family and their contributions to the pre- and post-Revolutionary War development of Centreville in western Fairfax County, Virginia. In the 1750s, William Lane and his son, James Lane Junior, each purchased land in the Centreville area, then known as Newgate. In 1760, James was granted permission to build a mill by the Fairfax County Court. Lane’s Mill was owned by the Lane family for approximately 108 years. According to Fairfax County Park Authority planning documentation, Lane’s Mill is a “microcosm of industrial and historical significance.”

The ruins of the mill—one grist mill, a shell pit and trail race, two mill races, and a sawmill—serve as an archaeological/historic site because it is a classic example of light industry in Fairfax County from the early part of the 18th century through the early part of the 20th century. The Lane’s Mill site is currently eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. In addition to over a century of activity related to milling, the Lane family is also linked to the Mount Gilead Historic Site in Centreville. In 1785, Joel Beach and his wife Elizabeth (Lane), acquired six acres of land from Elizabeth's father, James Lane. On this site, Beach constructed a tavern that he referenced as “a house (tavern) at the sign of a Black Horse.” Francis Adams purchased the tavern in 1789, and used the building as his residence. This residence eventually became known as the Mount Gilead House, which sits on seven acres in Centreville and is owned and maintained by the Fairfax County Park Authority as a historic site.