Ballston Spa Life
Rowland’s Hollow Was Once a Thriving Hamlet
Ballston Spa Life
Nearly all of the industry outside of Ballston Spa was located on the Kayaderosseras Creek during the 1800s. However, there was one hamlet in the eastern section of Milton that hosted a variety of businesses for decades.
Rowland’s Hollow (sometimes known as Rowland’s Mills) was located on one of the branches of the Kayaderosseras Creek along present day Rowland Street. Hiram Rowland established a series of mills in the 1840s consisting of a saw mill, grist mill, stone works, and lime quarry. A man named Prince Wing later managed most of these businesses and employed over two dozen men.
When Kilmer’s paper mill in Rock City Falls converted its machinery to manufacture paper from straw in the mid-1850s, it required large amounts of lime to bleach the paper pulp. No doubt Hiram Rowland was pleased by this development, as he gained a valuable customer for the lime in his quarry.
Other nearby paper mills in Ballston Spa, Hudson Falls, and Corinth also purchased the product of the lime kiln. It was even used by the Mt. Pleasant Glass Factory north of Lake Desolation. Teamsters would stop by Rowland’s Hollow on their way back from delivering bottles to Saratoga Springs.
During the late 1800s the lime quarry was the most active industry in the hamlet, running seven days a week year-round. The nearby barns housed sixteen teams of mules that were used to draw the lime out of the quarry and deliver it to all parts of Saratoga County.
The grist mill was one of the most highly-rated mills of its kind in the area. It was operated for many years by Joseph Parmatier, who lived in a stone house next door. Isaac Wagar built a plaster mill where limestone was ground into powder for fertilizer. James Lee operated the stone quarry next to the two naturally-flowing mineral springs on the banks of the creek. The cut stone was used for a variety of building purposes around town.
By the early 1900s, the paper industry had developed new methods for manufacturing paper that no longer required lime. The loss of its primary industry led to the decline and extinction of the Rowland Mills area. Today there is little trace of the intense activity surrounding the hamlet. The stone walls that made up one of the mills lasted until recently, but today only a small vestige is left.
Excerpts from this article were taken from Tim Starr’s 2007 book “Lost Industries of the Kaydeross Valley,” which is available at the Brookside Museum.