South Carolina Picture Project

Dorn Mill – McCormick, South Carolina

South Carolina  |  SC Picture Project  |  McCormick County Photos  |  Dorn Mill

Dorn Mill in McCormick was built as a cottonseed mill in 1898 and converted into a flour and gristmill in the 1920s. It operated continuously until the 1940s. After the invention of the cotton gin in 1793, “King Cotton” became increasingly important to the economy of the South. The spread of railroads enabled farmers to reach wider markets and the textile industry thrived. Cottonseed was a by-product of the ginning process and used primarily for animal feed.

Dorn Mill

Pete Lawrence of Sumter, 2015 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

When the boll weevil caused the rapid decline of cotton in the 1920s, Dorn Mill retooled with modern steam engines and boilers and converted to a mill that processed wheat and other grains. Primary products were ground corn meal for sale in local stores, chicken and animal feed, and flour for local farmers’ home use.

Cotton Mill McCormick

Larry Gleason of Aiken, 2010 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The boilers were powered by sawdust and wood chips from a nearby lumber yard that was also owned by the Dorn family. Only two people were needed to run the mill. One person fired the boilers and operated the machinery and the second person waited on customers.

McCormick Cotton Mill

Larry Gleason of Aiken, 2010 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The Dorn Mill site is listed in the National Register:

Dorn’s Flour and Grist Mills is a two-and-a-half story red brick structure with projecting one-story wings. Constructed ca. 1898 as a cotton gin, the mill is an outstanding example of rural industrial architecture. The dominant feature of the exterior is a three-story brick wall of cross-shaped plan which was built in 1915 to support a water tower tank. The interior of the mill is its most salient feature. The extant steam engines and boilers date from the period when the building was used as a cotton gin, but the grist mill equipment dates from the 1920s.

At one time many small towns throughout rural America utilized the services of mills similar to Dorn’s Mill. With the development of a more complex mill technology, many of these mills disappeared. Dorn’s Mill is significant as one of only a few such mills still standing—its steam engines, boilers, and most of its machinery still intact. In 1917, the property was conveyed to M.G. Dorn, J.S. Dorn, and Preston Findley who formed the Dorn-Findley Corporation. Its general purpose was to run an oil mill, cotton gin and grist mill. In the mid-1920s the Dorns hired a mill wright to put in the present corn and wheat machinery as well as a hammer mill. The mill operated throughout the years and ground commercial corn meal for sale in local and country stores, flour from wheat for local farmers (not for commercial sale) and chicken and animal feed. The mill closed in the 1940s.

Dorn Mill Info

Address: North Main Street, McCormick, SC 29835
GPS Coordinates: 33.913164,-82.296138

Dorn Mill Map

Dorn Mill – Add Info and More Photos

The purpose of the South Carolina Picture Project is to celebrate the beauty of the Palmetto State and create a permanent digital repository for our cultural landmarks and natural landscapes. We invite you to add additional pictures (paintings, photos, etc) of Dorn Mill, and we also invite you to add info, history, stories, and travel tips. Together, we hope to build one of the best and most loved SC resources in the world!

Please Comment Below

The South Carolina Picture Project is a volunteer project which earns no profit. We work hard to ensure its accuracy, but if you see a mistake, please know that it is not intentional and that we are more than happy to update our information if it is incorrect. That said, our goal is to create something positive for our state, so please make your comments constructive if you would like them to be published. Thank you!

2 Comments about Dorn Mill

SCIWAYNo Gravatar says:
July 13th, 2011 at 1:14 pm

Hi Max! We checked out the mill’s listing in the National Register, and after viewing its nomination form we believe it is currently not in use. It appears to be privately owned for now, but if you are interested in visiting the Dorn Mill you should call the McCormick County Chamber of Commerce at 864-852-2835. They will definitely be able to provide you with the most up to date information on the mill. Hope this helps! – SCIWAY

Max RodriguezNo Gravatar says:
July 11th, 2011 at 2:45 pm

What is this building’s current use?

Related Pages

Badwell Cemetery Daddy Tom

Fannie Kate’s Bed and Breakfast

McCormick SC Depot
McCormick Depot

Long Cane Massacre

McCormick County Courthouse

Bordeaux Hall
Bordeaux Hall

New Bordeaux Worship Site

Buffalo Creek
Buffalo Creek

Dorn Mill
Dorn Mill


Join Us on Facebook
Our 5 Goals
Our Contributors
Add Info
Add Pictures
Search for Pictures
Missing Landmarks


Abbeville ACE Basin Aiken Allendale Anderson Awendaw Bamberg Barns & Farms Barnwell Beaches Beaufort Beech Island Belton Bennettsville Bishopville Blackville Bluffton Bridges Bygone Landmarks Camden Carnegie Libraries Cemeteries Charleston Charleston Navy Base Cheraw Chester Churches Clemson Clinton Clio Colleges Columbia Conway Courthouses Darlington Denmark Dillon Donalds Easley Edgefield Edisto Elloree Fairfax Florence Folly Beach Forests and Nature Preserves Gaffney Garden City Beach Georgetown Glenn Springs Graniteville Greeleyville Greenville Greenwood Greer Hamburg Hampton Hartsville Hemingway Hilton Head Historical Photos Historic Houses Honea Path Hopkins Hunting Island Isle of Palms Jails James Island Johns Island Johnsonville Johnston Kiawah Island Kingstree Lake City Lake Marion Lakes Lancaster Landrum Latta Laurens Lexington Libraries Lighthouses Little River Manning Marion McClellanville McCormick Military Mills Moncks Corner Mountains Mount Carmel Mount Pleasant Mullins Murrells Inlet Myrtle Beach National Register Newberry Ninety Six North Augusta North Charleston North Myrtle Beach Orangeburg Parks Pawleys Island Pendleton Pickens Piers Pinopolis Plantations Port Royal Post Offices Ravenel Restaurants Ridgeway Rivers Roadside Oddities Robert Mills Rock Hill Rockville Rosenwald Schools Salters Saluda Savannah River Site SC Artists SC Heroes of the Alamo Schools Seneca Shrimp Boats Society Hill Spartanburg Sports Springs St. George St. Helena Island St. Matthews Stores Sullivan's Island Summerton Summerville Sumter Synagogues Town Clocks Trains & Depots Trees Trenton Turbeville Ulmer Union Wadmalaw Island Walhalla Walterboro Waterfalls Water Towers West Columbia Westminster Winnsboro Yemassee York `

© 2016, LLC All rights reserved.