While many mid-18th century mills in Solebury Township were located at major transportation hubs, Aaron Phillips' grist mill was ideally positioned to serve the many surrounding family farms which have thrived here for centuries. Four generations of the Phillips family ground locally-farmed grain until 1889, when the property was sold and the mill was little used.
The buildings surrounding the mill soon became home to summer tenants, boarding outside of the city's heat, and the new school of impressionist landscape painters, who used the outbuildings as studios to capture the natural beauty of Solebury and its environs.
As the mill fell out of use, its equipment was removed to the Mercer Museum and, in 1929, the building was put to use as a community center, a function it retains today, looking much as it did in the 18th century.
The village has been home to early 20th-century progressive schools. The Holmquist School for Girls, an early proponent of John Dewey's educational philosophy, was founded here in 1917, as was the Solebury School for boys. The schools merged in 1949 and now exist as the coeducational Solebury School.
Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983, Phillips Mill is one of the best-preserved examples of a mid-18th century milling village in America.