North Wales, PA
 Elias K. Freed's Grist Mill

The origin of the name "West Point" was coined by Elias K. Freed and Henry Moyer. Freed and Moyer owned
 a flour mill in North Wales, PA. The two businessmen built several buildings about a mile west of North Wales to
sell commodities not seen in the area these days - hay, coal, lumber and animal feed. They named their outlet the

West Point Feed House
In the days before the automobile it would be akin to owning a gas station, and was very profitable.
(It should be noted here that Elias K. Freed became the president of the First National Bank of Lansdale.)

Elias K. Freed's grist mill on Main Street, North Wales PA
Elias K. Freed's grist mill on Main Street, North Wales PA in 188?.
The original mill at North Wales was built by J. H. Egner in 1860, and was then operated as a grist mill and distillery. It was forty feet wide, sixty feet long, and three stories in height, with an attic. At the time of finishing the mill the proprietor was obliged to sell it. Elias. K. Freed and Jonas and David Moyer were the purchasers. The new firm removed the machinery connected with the distillery, and changed that part of the building into a planing mill, using the other portion as a grist mill.

In March, 1862, the building was destroyed by fire, but it was quickly rebuilt for a merchant and grist mill, with five run of grinding stones and a forty horsepower steam engine.

In 1866 Jonas D. Moyer withdrew from the firm, and in 1868 David Moyer withdrew also, selling his interest to Henry W. Moyer. Henry Moyer went into business with George
Schlotterer, but Schlotterer sold his interest in the company back to Elais Freed. (Or something like that - it depends on which historical account you read.) The company was now named E. K. Freed.

Sometime around 1873 the West Point Feed House was built.

In 1881 Henry Moyer sold his interest to Mr. Freed, but retained ownership of the West Point Feed House.

The mill was then rebuilt a third time. Its frontage was 120 feet, it had three stories and an attic as well as a two story warehouse. The five grinding stones were replaced with a new technology that utilized cylindrical corrugated rollers, greatly increasing its capacity. It used eight pairs of cast iron rollers and eight pairs of porcelain rollers. Running day and night it could produce 150 barrels of flour a day. It was the first roller process mill in Montgomery County and the third in the state.


This rendering of the mill is part of map of North Wales dated 1886.
(The people and horses are not drawn to scale.)

Notice the discrepancy between the photo at the top of this page and this drawing. There is an addition built onto the left side
of the mill, but the top photo shows a railroad car sitting on a siding. Did the addition actually exist, as the drawing portrays?

This later photo shows that the drawing above is correct.
Notice it's now named "NORTH WALES STEAM MILLS."

This 1871 map shows there was indeed a railroad siding next to the mill before it was rebuilt.
At some point in time, the building was split in two. An addition was built onto the roof of the larger building
  Photo thanks to Dick Shearer

West Point is west of this mill. Where was the mill?
The location is shown below.
The mill is shown on Main Street in the 1886 map. The Number "1" on the key to the map refers to  "North Wales Steam Roller Mills, E. K. Freed & Co". Those familiar with the area can tell by the railroad tracks that it was located next to the present day North Wales fire house.
The mill exists today as 137 Main Street in North Wales. In 2005 it was rebuilt as modern office space.

West Point is west of THIS building!

Here is the 1886 map to view or download. (7.3 megabytes - will open in a new window)