For one Clarke County woman, the mill is part of her story. And she’s not alone.
Based on Kathy Hudson’s writing, with support from David Lillard
Back in 1985, Kathy Hudson had a decision to make. A recently minted college graduate with a degree in education, she had interviewed with — and would subsequently receive offers from — Clarke County Public Schools and Charles County, Md.
By Kathy’s telling, the Burwell-Morgan Mill in the village of Millwood, helped tip her decision to move to Clarke.
Now retired, she coordinates volunteers at the Art at the Mill event, sponsored by the Clarke County Historical Association and scheduled October 2 through 17.
“When I came to Clarke to interview, I first met Assistant Superintendent William Overbey in the administration offices,” recalls Kathy. “After our interview, John McCuan (my future principal at Boyce Elementary School) picked me up in his Subaru to take me to see Boyce School.” After the interview, on the drive back to Berryville, McCuan took Kathy on a short scenic drive of Clarke County through Boyce to Millwood. “As we passed some of the grand houses on that road, I was charmed,” she said. “Coming from the suburbs of Pittsburgh, I had seen my share of old neighborhoods and estates (albeit with not much property tacked on,) so it was nothing unusual. When we got to Millwood, however, I knew I was hooked on Clarke County.”
It was on that trip that McCuan pointed out the Burwell-Morgan Mill.
“I took one look, and I was enchanted,” said Kathy. “I love history; knowing that roots in the county went back to the 1700s made Clarke County my choice to come and work.”
Kathy married in 1987 — “a native Clarke County boy,” as she says — raised two sons, and retained her love of the region’s history and landscape. Shortly before she retired from Boyce Elementary School in 2015, her good friend Kathy Campbell, who was then Clarke County Historical Association’s president, called for a favor. She asked if Kathy would coordinate the volunteers for the upcoming art show at the Mill.
“I begged off, since I was still working,” said Kathy. “And, truthfully, I did not think I would be able to do a very good job with it. I told her to get back in touch with me after I retired.”
Campbell didn’t let Kathy forget that promise. In the fall of 2017, Kathy started making phone calls for volunteers. She also volunteered at the art show; and this opened a new world for her. “I really enjoyed meeting the artists, seeing their artwork, and meeting the public and patrons who came to the show,” said Kathy. “I’ve been involved with the art show ever since.”
In 2019, she joined the historical association’s board of of directors. “Since I have been retired, I have termed this the decade of giving back,” says Kathy. She also served on the board of The Barns of Rose Hill, from 2015–2020, and the Clarke County Education Foundation since 2019. “When I was working full time for CCPS, I did not feel I could take on additional roles in the community,” she said. “One of the things that I took to heart from my service on the Barns of Rose Hill board was to ‘give of your time, talent, and treasure.’ As a retired school librarian, I may not have much ‘treasure,’ but I certainly have the time and skills to help our community, and I am thrilled to be involved with the CCHA.”
Kathy is especially gratified to know that the efforts of past committees and the current Art Show Committee (Kathy Campbell, Gwen Casey-Higgins, Snow Fielding, Candy Means and Janet Bechamps) and a myriad number of volunteers help keep the historic mill going — millers, junior millers, others who volunteer for a few hours during the show. “Never in my wildest dreams in 1985 did I envision becoming involved with this beautiful, restored building,” said Kathy.
The art show is the largest fundraiser for the Clarke County Historical Association; it helps keep the water wheel in the Burwell-Morgan Mill turning. “Thanks to the purchase of the mill by the CCHA in 1964, its leaders over the years, and efforts of the Art Show Committee, started by Sally Trumbower in 1990, the Burwell-Morgan Mill continues to thrive,” Kathy added.
Art at the Mill includes artists from the mid Atlantic region, featuring varying styles and prices.
The show runs from October 2–17, from 10am till 5pm 10-5 on Saturdays and noon till 5pm Sunday through Friday.
You can preview artwork at https://artatthemillfall2021.artcall.org, then navigate to the web gallery. You must call the Burwell- Morgan Mill at 540-837-1799 during art show hours to purchase.
Become a CCHA member on when you visit and enjoy free admission; admission for non-member adults is $5 and $3 for seniors. Students can attend for free.
CDC guidelines will be observed, and there will be no Patron’s Night.