Cooper Mill
Morris County Park Commission
73 Kahdena Road
Morristown, NJ 07960
(973) 326-7645 Fosterfields • (908) 879-5463 Cooper Mill

Places Nearby:
Pequest Trout Hatchery
Wild West City
Waterloo Village
More in:

Other States:

Built in 1826 by Nathan Cooper, this fascinating grist mill included some of the newest innovations of the time. The mill was upgraded as time went along, maintaining its state-of-the-art operation.

The innovations were the design of inventor, Oliver Evans, whose ideas of automation revolutionized the milling process. His book, The Young Mill Wright's and Miller's Guide, detailed how to use elevators, moving belts, and screw conveyors to make a milling operation more efficient and profitable. Some of this new technology can be seen in the Cooper Mill today.

It is amazing to see just how efficient such a mill really is. Powered by the natural flow of water, the mill is obviously friendly to the environment. And the water powers lifting, as well as grinding, functions.

Some interesting facts:

  • The 16 - foot water wheel weighs 6 ½ tons, yet it takes as little as 1½ to 2 cups of water in less than half of the wheels 48 buckets to keep it turning at 4 RPM.
  • At 8 RPM, the most efficient speed, the wheel produces 45 horsepower.
  • The two sets of grinding stones presently operating at Cooper Mill can produce up to 800 pounds of flour or meal per hour.

With the Mill in production today, a visit to this place is both interesting and educational. Families (and groups) will also enjoy the special events here during the season Stone Dressing, a demonstration of how millstones are sharpened; Black Powder Day, a Colonial military re-enactment, and others. Visitors can also purchase fine stone-ground products while here.

School Tours are welcome by reservation. A representative sampling of School Programs includes, among others:

  • Miller's Pancake (pre-K-1)
    Youngsters experience the creation of the perfect pancake -- beginning with the grinding of the seeds.
  • Family Life in Milltown (Gr 1-6)
    An interactive exploration of community life in Millwood. Teachers can choose from a number of activities for students to participate in: sawing wood, carding wool, sewing with a treadle sewing machine, and others.
  • Industrial Revolution (Gr 9-12)
    Students discover how the use of water power, automation, and other advances in technology impacted life in the 1880's.

Programs at Cooper Mill are administered by Fosterfields Farm.

Hours: Call to confirm hours before visiting. Open April through October, with a partial schedule in the spring and fall months. Open July and August, Wednesday - Saturday 10am - 5pm and Sunday 12 - 5pm. Last tour starts about 90 minutes prior to closing. Closed November through March.
Admission: Fees subject to change. Call before visiting.
Adults $3.00
Seniors (65+) $2.00
Children 4-16 $1.00
Children under 4 FREE
Groups: School programs cost from $50 - $125 per class, depending on class size, grade level, and length of program. Outreach Programs slightly higher.
Group Reservations: At least 4 weeks in advance.
Lunch: Picnic tables available (intended mainly for school groups). Nearby State Park has many facilities.
Handicapped Access: Not accessible.
Directions: Located on Rt. 24/513 in Chester Township. I-80 to exit 27, Rt. 206 south. Rt. 206 to Rt. 24/513 west. Approx. 1¼ mile to Cooper Mill on left. 60 - 90 minutes from the George Washington Bridge.

Copyright © 1996-2014 by Patrick Tadeushuk. All Rights Reserved.