The eldest son of Samuel Bailey, Chrispianos whose name is sometimes spelled Chrispi Anos, lived on and operated a large farm about a mile below Rock, West Virginia, on the Lake Shawnee Road, overlooking the scenic Bluestone River. About a quarter of a mile from his beautiful old home is a loop of the river, one and seven-eights of a mile long; however, the loop is only fifty yards across. At the neck there is a layer of rock at the river’s surface, then a layer of sand, about seven feet in thickness, with another layer of rock above. The river falls twenty feet in the length of the loop.
In 1852, Chrispianos and his brother Charles, conceived of a mill at this point. They employed Matthew Bolton to do the physical work of boring a tunnel, one hundred twenty-five feet through this layer of sand, and erecting a mill on the lower side of the loop. This mill, known as “THE TUNNEL MILL,” was used for grinding wheat and corn. A carding machine about thirty feet long was also placed in this mill enabling the farmers of the area to bring their wool to be carded. Their wives could then make material necessary for making clothing.
The mill was busy for many years, both day and night, with farmers coming from as far away as Flat Top and Athens to grind their grain. The mill was operated until some time in the early 1900’s when railway construction brought in outside goods, making the operation of the mill unprofitable. The Norfolk and Western Railroad bought the mill sight, then later sold it to the Virginian Railway. Later, a flood washed away most of the contents of the mill.