Villages such as Advance Mills were once common features of rural Virginia, serving as economic and social centers. Advance Mills grew around a single mill that John Fray constructed in 1833 on the north fork of the Rivanna River. By the twentieth century, Advance Mills had expanded to include facilities to process corn, flour, wool, sumac, and lumber for local farmers. A general store also sold goods to nearby residents. Industrialization, electricity, and the increasing efficiency of automobiles led to the disappearance of Advance Mills, as well as other similar communities around Virginia, in the latter half of the twentieth century.
Year On Marker: 2011
Original Sponsor: Virginia Department of Transportation
Geographic Location: Albemarle County
Physical Description of Location: Advance Mills Road (Route 743), just east of bridge over the Rivanna River at intersection with Frays Mill Road (Route 641) Earlysville, VA 22936.
Display on Google Maps
Display on Google Earth