Hand's Mills

Apr 6, 2004
My friend asked me to research this place. After a little while of poking around the internet, I've written this brief synopsis. If anyone finds any errors, or has more info, please let me know. I have yet to explore Belleplain State Forest, and have not been to Hand's Mill before. I plan to visit the site soon.

Hand’s Mill in Belleplain State Forest is the site of a former gristmill on the West Creek (it is possible that a sawmill also operated here. One would have to take a walk back there and see if there is evidence of two millraces). The mill was built and first operated by Jonas Hoffman (formerly Hopman), probably during the American Revolution. It was around this time that Hoffman inherited ½ of a sawmill on West Creek that was then known as Sharp’s Mills (constructed sometime prior to 1750). Hoffman likely dammed the creek about a mile south of Sharp’s Mill (henceforth called Hoffman’s Mill) for the purpose of constructing the gristmill. In 1813, Hoffman’s heirs sold the gristmill to Nathaniel Holmes. Holmes died in 1834, and in his will he deeded the mill to his daughter, Hannah (who had married Christopher Hand in 1815) and subsequently to their three sons, Holmes, Richard and Charles. The mill was known as Christopher Hand’s Mill by 1826, indicating that Hand was in charge of the operation by then. Christopher Hand died in 1871, and his wife Hannah in 1872, and by 1873 the estate was divided equally among their three sons. I haven’t figured out when operations ceased at Hand’s Mill.


Jul 20, 2003
millville nj
There are foundations there on the west side of the bridge and north side of the road.also some of the biggest cedars I've seen are in the woods on the north side of the bog.quite a few survey stones around there too.west creek bog upstream is also absolutely beautiful like hands mill bog.it can be driven too from the east.