Old Wye Mill seeks to identify lenders

Old Wye Grist Mill still uses milling equipment dating from the period 1790-1810. The mill is seeking to identify owners of some of the objects on exhibit.

WYE MILLS — Old Wye Mill, the historic site on the border of Talbot and Queen Anne’s counties, is seeking the legal lenders or donors of more than 100 undocumented objects it has identified within its collections. Items include a belt-lacer, grain scoops, berry mills, heating stoves, fanning mills, corn shellers, hand trucks, saws, and agricultural implements. These objects were given or lent to the organization in the decades since the grist mill opened to the public as a historic site in the 1950s.

Old Wye Mill is giving notice to anyone who may believe that he or she is the owner of any of these objects, so that they may assert their claim to title to the undocumented property. The records of Old Wye Mill do not indicate the owner of record of these objects in its possession. The Mill wishes to clarify ownership in pursuit of best museum professional practices. A full list of these objects can be found at https://www.oldwyemill.org/copy-of-old-wye-mill-tree-ring-study.

“Accurate collections records are part of the necessary infrastructure of a well-run museum or historic site,” said Ellen K. Smith, chair of Old Wye Mill’s Collections and History Committee. “Old Wye Mill is always working to upgrade our collections and our record-keeping. We appreciate the cooperation of the public in helping us determine who gave or lent us many historic objects in our possession.”

Anyone who wishes to claim ownership of, or other legal interest in, any of the objects, please contact the Old Wye Mill office within 60 days by calling 410-827-3850 or by email at oldwyemill@atlanticbbn.com. You will be asked to establish ownership of the objects, and complete official paperwork.

This effort is part of a collections documentation project, one component of a comprehensive project to plan and implement improved interpretation of the historic site. The project is made possible by a grant from the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority, with Maryland State funds, through the Stories of the Chesapeake Heritage Area, and by matching contributions made by community members.

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