Platt’s Mill on Mill Street beside the dam is the longest operating business site in Spartansburg. It was the original grist mill site begun by the Akins brothers in the 1830s on land purchased from Judge Barlow. The Akins also had a saw mill on the west side of Oil Creek. The mill was in a great location when the railroad came through town, and a siding from the main line to the mill further established its prominence.
This portion of a map from 1867 shows the location of the saw and grist mills at that time.
This 1876 map shows that the property for the grist mill had transferred to John Jude.
The mill and property were purchased by John Jude about 1868 and he constructed a new, larger mill. The mill is described in this article from June or 1880:
And it is mentioned again in an article from December of that same year:
This artist rendering of the Jude Mills appeared in the 1876 New Historical Atlas of Crawford County PA illustrated by Everts, Ensign and Everts.
Unfortunately, John Jude died in 1881 at the age of 42 years and the property was sold to George Eldred and John Thompson. John Thompson had worked at the mill as a manager and miller for Mr. Jude.
Eldred and Thompson discontinued some of the flour milling portion of the business, but continued the feed and grain. They have the distinction of having owned the mill and dam when the rains of 1892 destroyed the dam and contributed to the flood that caused so much damage and death in Titusville and Oil City, as well as major issues in Spartansburg and surrounding areas.
Eldred and Thompson also owned and operated the saw mill on adjoining property for several years. A new mill was built in March of 1894 and a major fire damaged the mill in August of that same year.
George Eldred retired from the mill but Thompson remained in ownership and leased the property to HA Lane. The business was sold to George Davis and Frank Hyde in 1903. Davis had been the manager for several years for Lane.
As with the past owners, Davis and Hyde made improvements, including construction of a concrete dam and addition of modernized equipment.
This article from the 1908 Spartansburg Sentinel describes the mill as it was early in Davis and Hyde ownership.
In 1922, the business was sold once again. Frank Platt and Glenn Steadman took ownership on March 1.
About 9 years later, the partnership was dissolved and Mr. Platt continued the business on his own.
These photos,taken from a similar angle, show the mill area in about 1920 and in 2015