This two-story building features a typical Federal era form being three-bays wide, rectangular, and having a gable-roofed main block with its ridge parallel to the road. The early Greek Revival style is evident in the bold, flat-arched stone lintels above the door and window openings, and the recessed entrance flanked by Ionic columns.
This building is the headquarters for the Mount Morris Historical Society and a museum dedicated to the history of the Mount Morris and Livingston County area. This museum is listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) due to it's value as a historical structure in Mount Morris. According to the NRHP Archive:
Constructed in 1838, the Mills Homestead was the last home of General William A. Mills, who was the founder and first permanent white settler in the town of Mt. Morris, and a well-known public figure throughout all of Livingston County. A stylistically transitional building, it carefully incorporates distinctive architectural forms and details of both the neoclassical and Greek Revival tastes. The house is significant for its quality of craftsmanship, design, and architectural integrity as well as its historical association with General Mills.
In 1844, General Mills died and the home became the property of his daughter, Susanne Branch. Her son inherited the property in 1923 and sold it to the D’Imperio family. In 1941, the D’Imperios sold the property to the Mt. Morris Chamber of Commerce who gave it to the Hickock Manufacturing Company in 1946. The building was divided into apartments and became a home for the foreman’s family.
The back staircase is blocked, four windows were plastered over, and several dry wall partitions were added during the 1940’s.
The kitchen extension, carriage house and outbuildings were removed when a factory was built on the adjoining southern lot prior to 1946. In 1957, the Electronic Timer Company purchased the property and used the house as a warehouse. The front porch on the wing was removed in 1960 due to rotting timbers. The property was then sold to S.J.D. Enterprises in 1975, and stood vacant and unused for over a year.
In September, 1976, the house and one-third acre of land was purchased by the Mt. Morris Rotary Club and given to the Mt. Morris Historical Society. The building is presently being renovated and restored for use as a museum, heritage craft workshops, cultural center and society headquarters. Under the supervision of the Rochester Museum of Science Center, an archeological survey was initiated in June, 1978. Although work is still in progress, the team has uncovered a garden well and portions of a rear brick pathway under which the original cobblestone pathway was discovered. It is the intention of the Mt. Morris Historical Society that the Mills Homestead serve the community as an educational facility.
As you can see, the Historical Society did indeed renovate this beautiful structure, and it now stands as Mills Mansion, operated by the society as village’s museum and Historical Society Headquarters.
The Mansion is open June-November, Friday-Sunday, 12 to 4pm (and by appointment).