Howards Mill was the site of an old water mill of ambitious proportion and capacity for its time, long before steam was introduced, built on Slate Creek and operated by the Howards — an old and famous mercantile family of the county. Capt. James Howard, for a long time postmaster at Mt. Sterling, and prior thereto County Court Clerk, was of that family. The mill dam stood the test of many years and floods. Then Mt. Sterling installed water works for the city, the waters of Slate Creek impounded by the dam were readily available for an adequate supply. A mural of the mill and dam may be seen on the wall of the Montgomery Hotel at Mt. Sterling. The village is about six miles southeast of Mt. Sterling.
Howard’s Mill is in the near vicinity of Morgan’s Station, a block house rendezvous built by the first settlers as protection against Indian forays. It was the only one in what is now Montgomery County, and was, in April 1793 attacked by Wyandotte Indians on their last invasion of Kentucky, one of the last to occur in that part of the state. The Indians surprised and took the fort, carrying away a number of women and children, some of whom were killed, but some were returned after the peace of 1795. That was before Mt. Sterling was settled. Beside the strategic location of Morgan’s Station, Howard’s Mill is on the road from Mt. Sterling to Olympia Springs, long a noted watering place resort. It was near also the Forge Iron Works on Slate Creek, where iron ores were smelted and made into cannon balls that served General Jackson at New Orleans. In those times the Howards Mill settlement was of some note. When steam was substituted for water power, and the rich ore deposits of the northwest outmoded Old Forge, the roadhouse took over the pleasure seekers who erstwhile made Olympia famous, old Howards Mill fell into “innocuous desuetude” as an active business center. RHP-Brochure
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