The Hambleton brothers, Charles, James, Isaac, and Benjamin, bought land and a small mill from James Brooks in 1813. In 1835, the town of Sprucevale was plotted by the Hambleton Brothers.
The canal was constructed in 1834, and the Hambleton Mill's date of construction was probably around this time. The canal provided easy transportation and an expanded market for the mill's products. James Hambleton served on the Sandy Beaver Canal Board of Directors and operated the mill. Charles managed a store and the U.S. Post Office. Isaac ran the woolen factory. At the height of Sprucevale's activity, there were 12 homes in the community, now only one home and the mill remain.
The millrace was constructed from the canal under the existing roadway in front of the mill and it flowed under and through the stone structure. This is evidenced by the stone arches at the front and back of the mill.
The Sandy Beaver Canal became obsolete around 1852 to 1854 due to the infiltration of the railroad. The Hambleton's saw the decline of their business and in 1852 advertised the mill for sale.
The mill was never placed into operation again and it fell into a seriously deteriorated condition. The 1970's found the mill's roof gone, and the stone walls had crumbled in varying degrees. William Vodrey recognized the historical implications of the deteriorated remnant mill and provided the means for its restoration. The remnant walls were incorporated into the restoration.
The cut sandstone exterior presents an impressive sight in the Beaver Creek valley. The windows are neatly boarded from the inside. The interior has a wooden-beam, shell structure. There is no equipment and no access to the interior. You can view the basement area and see how the water flowed through the mill.
Hambleton Mill's restoration is a gift to be enjoyed by all of its visitors. (Nicosia; Murphy; Wattenbarger).