Lantz Mills Community

In 1747, Hans George Lantz left Germany and eventually settled on 470 acres along Stoney Creek in Shenandoah County. The area he arrived in had been occupied by Native Americans for several centuries. Though some Europeans had already come here, Lantz and his family would come to dominate the area.

George Lantz would own and operate a farm in this community, then called Swan Pond Hollow, until his death in 1793. His son, Jacob, and eventually his grandson George, continued this operation.

The dynamics of the community in which they lived changed in the early 19th century when a grist mill opened in the community. This mill utilized the water power of the creek to grind local farmer’s crops into flour. Originally it was owned by Peter Holler, who had received a Lord Fairfax land grant along the waterway. Records indicate that his neighbor, George Lantz, purchased the mill in 1824. His family would operate the mill for the next 72 years.

Other individuals soon began opening commercial establishments in the area. Jacob Clem constructed a large general store in the late 19th century that supplied the community with almost every good until it burned in 1942.

A large furniture factory and woodworking shop was operated by the Christian brothers during the first part of the 20th century. Other businesses, such as a blacksmith shop, shoemaker, cider mill, cannery, and barber shop also existed here.
Social activities were popular in the community. A large band existed during through the late 20th century. They held regular concerts that were attended by residents from throughout the county. These concerts also featured community festivals, games, ice cream socials, and many other activities.

After the Second World War, Lantz Mills began to decline. Community members began to leave for towns and cities while enhanced transportation meant individuals could get goods and services elsewhere. The roller mill closed in the early 1970s and other businesses followed quickly. Today it is a residential community occupied by approximately 100 people.