Friends of Jerusalem Mill, Inc.

Monthly Newsletter

February 2015

Please enjoy our first Friends of Jerusalem Mill newsletter.   Our intentions are to share information, thank our dedicated volunteers, members and sponsors, and encourage donations, new membership and sponsorships.


1.  On 1 Jan 2015, the FOJM sponsored a very successful First Day Hike on the Jerusalem Mill/Little

Gunpowder Trail loop.   Over 135 visitors enjoyed the chilly, but, sunny day.  Special thanks to Saint Joan.

2.  On 23 Jan 2015, the renovation of the Blacksmith Shop Electric was completed.   Little furry visitors to the shop had chewed thru some of the insulation on the Romex wiring in multiple places and many of the receptacles and fluorescent lights were corroded and shorted-out by coal dust over the last fifteen years.  At the advice of Charlie Sipple, licensed electrician, and with the approval of the Officers and Board of Directors to spend $702.00, all the Romex wiring was eliminated, all receptacles and receptacle boxes were replaced and new armored cables or conduit were installed, a new outside line for the concerts was added along with additional window receptacles and track-lighting for the forge area (hidden behind the support beam).  Over twenty extension cords were re-purposed.   Paint or wooden coverings will be added to camouflage the electric in the coming months (see attached pictures below).


3.  On 23 Jan 2015, a new wood-working volunteer took measurements and advice from our own FOJM curator on the repair/rework of the Miller’s (Gun Factory) House door frames.   The new wood for the frames was ordered and the repair on the rear door will be started this month (see picture above on right of Merlin Erickson with Chris Scovill).

4.  On 2 & 3 Feb 2015, Mark (a former student of Harry Sanders) of Dixie Construction re-sculptured to improve drainage away from the bankbarn and added donated soil and stones to improve access for the Old World Stone Masonry Lift.  They use this lift to position replacement stones close to the scaffolding.

5.  On Saturday, 10 Jan 2015, The Friends of Jerusalem Mill and the Percy Lee Dairy Farm Foundation held a volunteer workday with twelve individuals from GFSP Maryland Conservation Corp crew, local churches, business and friends.  Some of the volunteers’ families included special needs children.   After a feast served by Saint Joan Scovill with help from Andrea and others, their activities included: (1) Continued to clear

back yard of Tenant House of debris and invasive brushes/trees; (2) Cleared no-name stream culvert off Jericho Road of debris and trash; (3) Painted four FOJM directional signs; (4) Stuffed membership and Sponsorship Letters, and, (5) installed tile/toilet paper holder in McCourtney’s Story bathroom (finally). Our next Second Saturday Volunteer Workdays are on 14 Feb; 14 Mar, and, 11 Apr 2015 from 9:00

AM until Noon.  On 26 Apr 2015, over thirty area churches will coordinate their annual Saturday Volunteer ServiFest Workday from 9:00 AM until Noon.  On 9 May 2015 our annual Percy Lee Dairy Farm Foundation Founder’s Workday will be held behind the bankbarn from 9:00 AM until Noon with lunch catered by Sunshine Grill.  Please see Rick Decker for activities suggestions and RSVP.

6.  On Friday, 6 Feb 2015, with the approval of the Officers and Board of Directors, awarded $11, 200.00 in contracts to Old World Stone Masonry (OWSM) and TSW Roofing Solutions to repair and install a cedar shake shingle roof on the Wheelwright Shop originally built by students as part of a Building Preservation and Restoration course at Harford Community College directed by Rhonda Deeg with oversight and approval by the Maryland Historical Trust and Department of Natural Resources Engineering

& Construction. The program at the college was discontinued before the roof was installed, however, the ghost frame has become an essential structure for concerts and other special events in the village.  The completion of this roof will expand recreational and education opportunities in Historical Jerusalem Mill Village for all visitors.   On Monday, 9 Feb 2015, OWSM moved the structure and finished the new stone platform and new wooden base on Friday, 13 Feb 2015.  On 23 Feb 2015, TSW Roofing Solutions started the installation of the new cross boards and finished the new cedar-shake roof on Friday, 27 Feb 2015.  Both OWSM and TSW Roofing Solutions are sponsors this year.   See next month’s newletter for pictures.

7.  On Friday, 6 Feb 2015, Harry Sanders donated his time, brand-new truck and freshly painted trailer, with the approval of the Officers and Board of Directors to haul the John Deere Gator and Bobcat Zero-Turn to Walter G. Coale for their annual service.   Both pieces of equipment were ridden hard last year and need some tender loving care.  Walter G. Coale made a corporation donation this year.

8.  On Saturday, 14 Feb 2015, The Friends of Jerusalem Mill and Percy Lee Dairy Farm Foundation held a volunteer Workday at Historical Jerusalem Mill.   Twelve volunteers braved the twenty degree weather to complete a number of activities that included: (1) Split Silver Maple firewood; (2) Paint Trail Directional Signs for use within the Village; (3) Relocate the Living History Colonial Wood Shop from a pest-infested wood shed into a corner of the Blacksmith Shop until more permanent accommodations can be found; (4) Organize and divest McCourtney's General Store of excess material, and (5) Install a sump pump in the ground floor basement of the Post Office/Tenant House Building.   A great time was had by all.

9.  On Saturday, 13 Jun 2015, our annual yard sale will be conducted between McCourtney’s General Store and the parking lot.   Last year we collected over $920.00 in cash donations.   All assorted property, gifts, tools, or household goods donations are welcome both large and small.  Free pickup. Please call or write Rick Decker for arrangements ( or 410.591.7075).

10.The property committee is encouraging donations of any used, but, serviceable yard equipment, tools, scaffolding, building materials, volunteers and just about anything that is useful.   We are also willing to accept scrap metal as a donation.   Ms. Paula Johnson will provide you a perfectly written, receipt of donation letter to help reduce your tax burden.  Please call or write Rick Decker, see above for contact info.

11. In preparation for a very successful events and living history and visitor summer, please encourage new members or previous members to join or re-join the Friends of Jerusalem Mill as well as Sponsors. Membership and Sponsorship applications are available by request to Rick Decker.

Next Membership Meeting is Thursday, 5 Mar 2015, at 7:00 PM at the HQ, GFSP, Grist Mill, 2nd Floor,

2813 Jerusalem Mill Road, Kingsville, MD 21087. Comments, corrections, suggestions for the Monthly Friends of Jerusalem Mill Newsletter are welcome and encouraged by all members, visitor or sponsors. Please call or write Rick Decker, or 410.591.7075