Hemp has played an integral part in the rich agricultural and farming industry of Pennsylvania and Lancaster County in particular. Throughout the 1700s and 1800s there were an abundance of farmers filling their fields with the plant and over 100 mills around the county leading Lancaster to becoming the original hemp capitol of the country.
Our namesake, Chiques Creek, even runs right along the northeastern boarder of East Hempfield Township which formed in 1729. The name was given due to the “vast quantities of hemp” that were being raised in the area at the time. Chiques Creek also served as a power source for one of the earliest known hemp mills in the area, which was established at its junction with the neighboring Donegal Creek.
While today, most of these mills are long gone, there are two mill sites still standing in Warwick Township. The Rome Mill was in operation pre-1785 but was consumed by fire in the late 1800’s and the structure that is there today was re-built post-fire. The Pfoutz Mill (pictured) was a two and a half story stone mill that processed hemp and oil pre 1772. Both of these mills are closed to the public but you can see their millstones and other remains in local museums like the Landis Valley Museum and the Hans Herr House in Lancaster County.
At Chiques Creek, we are proud to be a part of the revival of the hemp industry in Lancaster County. Full a full look at the history of hemp in Pennsylvania you can check out our Hemp Q&A page or check out this list of 10 things you never knew about Pennsylvania hemp history.