The original Lantz Mill was constructed in the early 19th century by the Holler family. They had received a land grant from Lord Fairfax in the late 18th century and moved here to farm the land. The existence of Stoney Creek provided them with an ample power source and they were soon able to build a mill here.
In 1815 the Hollers sold the mill to Samuel Stuart who sold it to George Lantz nine years later. He and his family would operate the mill for the next 72 years.
In 1863 Jacob Lantz purchased the mill from his father. Jacob was already a partner in the mill and a leading businessman in the area. He participated in the Edinburg Manufacturing Company alongside the owners of the Edinburg Mill. This group marketed and sold the agricultural surplus and manufactured goods of the county. Jacob also ran a sawmill and several shops in the area.
When the Civil War began Jacob, a slave owner and presiding justice of the county court, was a strong supporter of the Confederate cause. His position with local government meant he helped lead the county’s decision to support secession in 1860. It also meant he was in charge of the county’s finances during the period, and every piece of script issued by the county during the war bears his signature. When Union forces arrived in the area, Lantz’s position made him a target. His businesses were burned and so was his home after he refused to arrest local guerrillas.
By 1867 the mill had been rebuilt and Lantz was recovering. It was one of the first local mill to be rebuilt and played a role in the area’s recovery. The 1870 census noted the mill had a 30-horsepower water-drive mill with two stone grinders. It was valued at $7,500.
However Lantz had not been able to recover from the war. In 1879 he declared bankruptcy. His wife Elizabeth Whissen Lantz was able to obtain enough funds from her father to purchase the mill when it was sold to clear her husband’s debts. Jacob assumed position of manager and operated the mill for her until his death in 1871.
Elizabeth sold the mill fifteen years later to Joseph Tisinger who updated the mill to a “roller” type. This replaced the original stone wheels with metal rollers that produced better quality flour more efficiently. Tisinger sold the mill in 1898 to Erasmus Smith who operated it until 1930 when he sold it to William Wilkins who changed the name to Lantz Roller Mills.
Wilkins would go bankrupt in 1959 due to the availability of cheaper flour produced by large operations. The mill was sold to several members of the Sine family. They changed operations and began producing animal feed instead of flour for human consumption. Their “Shenandoah Breeder Mash” and “Sine Hog Finisher” were popular throughout the region. They closed in 1980 as large feed mills began to replace smaller operations.
In 2006 it was purchased by its current owners who were determined to restore the mill. Two years later they added the site to the National and State Register of Historic Places. They have been able to complete emergency shoring projects, a cleanup day, replacement of windows, reconstruction of damaged portions, and removal of later additions. Their efforts continue today.