In 1777 Joseph Jenks purchased The Bridgetown Mill. Joseph Jenks was a prominent family of Quakers in Bucks County. They traced their decent from Thomas Jenks (1699-1797), who, born in England, traveled with his parents to Pennsylvania in 1700. In 1731 he married and in 1734 established his 818-acre homestead in Middletown Township.
In the early 1700’s Thomas Jenks built and operated a fulling mill, one of the first in Bucks County, specializing in homespun goods. The mill was formerly located along Core Creek, approximately one and one half miles northeast of the (Preston) Bridgetown Mill. His son Thomas (1738-1799) played an important role in local and national politics, serving in the Colonial Assembly (1773), Constitutional Convention (1789-1790), and the State Senate (1790-1799).
His son Joseph (1743-1820), who first purchased the Bridgetown Mill built in 1704 by Jonas Preston, is reported to have been a major agriculturist in Bucks County. Not only did he operate the Bridgetown Mill, he also operated his father’s fulling mill and among other land holdings, assembled a 51-acre tract immediately east of Bridgetown, known today as Edgemont.
Joseph’s son William (1766-1818) not only operated the gristmill, but also farmed the 51-acre tract. In 1791 Joseph built a handsome mansion house on the same tract as the Bridgetown Mill and made a gift of his homestead and mills to William and his wife Mary. The house was referred to as The Bridgetown Mill House.
Before William’s death he bequeathed the homestead and mill to his sons Joseph (1792-1869) and Charles (1798-1823). William’s wife Mary was to receive at least one half of the mill house, two horses, two cows, sufficient firewood, and an allowance of $600 per year. Charles is credited with the construction of the Federal style dwelling known as Edgemont, shortly after he inherited the 51-acre farm in 1820. Joseph continued to operate the Jenks mills until the mid-1840’s. He is said to have amassed considerable wealth as a merchant miller.
The Bridgetown Mill and Mill House were sold in 1847 to Samuel Comfort, who operated the mill. In 1876 the property was sold to Benjamin Woodman and remained in the Woodman family until 1953. The mill continued to operate until 1939. In 1995, the property was purchased with 2 buildings, the Mill and Mill House along with 8.2 acres. The last of the 818-acre original homestead. After over two and a half years of restoration, The Bridgetown Mill House opened for the first time as an Inn in June of 1998. In April of 2003, a full service restaurant was added, making it a true Country Inn.
As for the gristmill (c1704) it is only a structural shell of what it once was. As you enter The Bridgetown Mill House you will experience the grandeur of the past. We welcome you to share in the splendor!