The seemingly historic MacHenry Mill building is located along a back-country road in the northern Catskills. In talking to the owner one time while photographing the mill, it seems the building isn’t quite as historic as it may first appear. She confirmed that there was once a mill on the site. However, the owner, who appeared to be in her late 20s or early 30s, confirmed that she had herself hand tiled the “MacHenry Mill” sign when she was a child. No matter its historic origin, the one-of-a-kind charm of this workshop building is classic Catskills.
Adding to the building’s unique charm I particularly like the two historic quotations on the wood above the double doors. The first quote reads “Perseverance and spirit have done wonders in all ages.” Although the wood carving states 1776, it was actually written by George Washington (1732-1799) on August 20, 1775 in a letter to Major General Philip Schuyler (1733-1804). In writing to provide updates to Schuyler, and perhaps add a little motivation with the American Revolution having just begun, the full quote reads “Animated with the Goodness of our Cause, and the best Wishes of your Countrymen, I am sure you will not let Difficulties not insuperable damp your ardour. Perseverance and Spirit have done Wonders in all ages.”
Showing the spirit of the American Revolution the second quote reads “We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again.” This was written in 1780 by General Nathanael Greene (1742-1786), who served in the Continental Army throughout the Revolutionary War and was considered one of George Washington’s best and most capable officers. Greene County, New York, where this building is located, is named in Greene’s honor.