Looking down on the Little Patuxent River, I saw the snow collecting on the ruins of the mill's Boiler House. I instantly decided that I needed to paint this idyllic scene. The Boiler House actually sits in the river just below Historic Savage Mill, where it could draw water directly into its four large boilers to heat this 19th century textile mill.
A bit of historical background of Savage Mill:
In 1820, the Williams brothers founded a textile mill on the banks of the Little Patuxent River just north of Laurel, Maryland. Funding for the mill was provided by William Savage,a friend of theirs, who both the mill and the surrounding mill town was named after.
Savage Mill primarily produced cotton canvas from 1822 to 1947 from raw cotton delivered by train across the river over the now historic Bollman Bridge. Canvas woven at the mill was used for making sails for clipper ships sailing out of Baltimore Harbor along with tents and cannon covers during the Civil War. From 1890-1900, canvas from Savage Mill was used for painted backdrops for Hollywood's first silent movies and later for canvas cots, truck covers and transport bags used by soldiers in both WWI and WWII.
After the mill closed in 1947, it was remodeled as a Christmas Display Village where they manufactured Christmas ornaments and had a one ring circus with a miniature B&O Railroad train to bring in visitors.
In 1950, the Winer family bought the old mill and in 1974 it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1985 after another major renovation, Savage Mill became what it is today, 175,000 square feet of specialty shops, antiques, art studios and restaurants making it one of Howard County's most interesting tourist destinations.
When I was working on this painting, a visitor walked into my studio and said "I'll buy that painting, just let me know when it's finished." Although the original is no longer available, prints are, and continue to be my top best seller.
"Snowing at the Old Mill", Original 20" x 30" oil on canvas, SOLD, prints available