Lewis Miller Daguerreotype

Carpenter · Traveler · Folk Artist
Chronicler of Rural Life
Lewis Miller Brochure pdf

Born in York, Pennsylvania in 1796, Lewis Miller became a carpenter after being apprenticed to his older brother John. He was a gifted craftsman, but his natural passion was art and travel.

Miller completed over 2000 sketches during his lifetime. He spent over half his life in York, PA and the majority of his work depicts scenes from that area. However he traveled extensively, including to Europe. His first recorded visit to Christiansburg was in 1831 to visit his brother, Joseph. Dr. Joseph Miller was a prominent physician in the area. He often traveled with his nephew, Rev. Charles Miller, a minister and son of Dr. Joseph Miller.

Lewis Miller Valentine – 1857

Lewis Miller spent considerable time with relatives in Christiansburg. Many of his sketches of the area were done in 1856 and 1857. It is likely that Miller was a frequent visitor to the Presbyterian Manse that is now home to the museum. He lived the last twenty years of his life in Christiansburg where he died in 1882. Miller is buried in the historic Craig Cemetery, which is under the care of the Montgomery Museum.

We are fortunate to have two original Miller sketches, an original Valentine dated 1857, and a daguerrotype in our permanent collection, along with numerous articles, artifacts, and reproductions.

Curator’s Notes:
The York County Heritage Trust holds a large collection of Miller’s works and has published a book of his sketches entitled Lewis Miller: Sketches and Chronicles.  Miller’s work has also been the subject of many magazine articles.

The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum at Colonial Williamsburg and the Virginia Historical Society in Richmond each have original Lewis Miller sketchbooks.There are many dipictions of the New River Valley in these volumes. The sketches shown are made possible by the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Williamsburg, VA. Gifts of Dr. and Mrs. Richard M. Kain.

Lewis Miller Obituary courtesy of the York County Heritage Trust Museum in York, PA