|The "mill" that started it all|
This particular journey began while I was looking into the history of the Eastburn-Jeanes Lime Kiln Historic District. Everywhere I looked, the history began with Abel Jeanes' purchase of the property sometime around 1815. There were no mentions of any previous owners -- not even who it was that Jeanes bought the land from. The only clues I could find anywhere came in Francis Cooch's book, Little Known History of Newark, Delaware and Its Environs. First, while visiting the area in the early 1930's, he stated that he believed part of the Jeanes House (then resided in by Joseph Eastburn, Jr.) to be older than the ownership of Abel Jeanes. Secondly, he also was sure that Jeanes' warehouse was originally built as a grist mill. In fact, Eastburn told him that the story he had heard was that it was burned by passing British troops during the Revolution. Finally, the last clue Cooch gives us is a passing mention by Eastburn that he thought the owners before Jeanes were named "Black". Not a lot to go on, but I thought I'd give it a shot.