Aberdeen Mills - A Part of History



December 2009 Snow Fall. Photo by Boog, Elady and the Qman.

In 2004, the Tri-County Conewago Creek Association (TCCCA) developed a proposal to preserve Aberdeen Mills from development. The following excerpts are from their proposal entitled "Aberdeen Mills, A Proposal to Preserve a Natural and Historic Treasure".


Physical, Natural and Ecological Features

The Aberdeen Mills property consists of wooded hillsides and wetlands, rocky meadows and a steep forested ravine, dotted with large boulders, through which the Conewago Creek flows in a series of picturesque rapids, pools and waterfalls. The property provides excellent habitat for wildlife, fish and other aquatic life.

The property is situated on a prominent
diabaseridge which has weathered extensively to expose the large boulders and rock outcrops which are prevelent throughout the property. Aberdeen marks the approximate mid-point of the Conewago in its twenty-plus mile journey from its headwaters near Mt. Gretna to its confluence with the Susquehanna River.

The majority of the Aberdeen section of the Conewago Creek is thickly wooded along its banks, though the lower stretch of the stream opens up into a grassy meadow that was used in years past to graze sheep. The forested canopy coupled with the many boulders, ledges and other rock structures in the stream provide excellent fish habitat. Fish species caught by fisherman include smallmouth bass, walleye, American eel, rock bass, bluefill, pumpkinseed sunfish, carp, channel catfish, bullhead catfish, rainbow trout and brook trout.

Maple trees are found throughout the property and were used for maple syrup operations for years. Further into the interior of the property, the land along the creek levels off to form wooded floodplains and wetlands. Wildflowers are prevalent in this area in the spring. The stream also flattens out in the interior portion of the property, upstream of the breached dam from which water was diverted for the old mill works. In this area, wooded sand bars and islands have formed in the creek from historic deposits of
alluvial soil.

The property provides excellent wildlife habitat for all of the common woodland animals of this region. Mink have been observed on the property as well as many species of birds, including migrating waterfowl, Baltimore Oriole, Eastern Bluebird, Kingfisher and Indigo Bunting.

For more information on the TCCCA Volunteer Stream Monitoring Program visit their web site at http://conewagocreek.net.

  TCCCA team members sifting through rocks and sediment next to the Mill in order to review the quality of the creek for it's inhabitants.  
   
Searching for organisms that are visible to the naked eye. Overall the health of the creek is good here at Aberdeen Mills. Several species of native clams were found as well as an invasive Asian species that has made its way up from the Susquehanna.