The history of Somervell County begins with a small trading post on the banks of the Paluxy River now known today as the City of Glen Rose. An early Texan, Charles E. Barnard contracted for a grist mill to be built, and by 1860, the water-powered gristmill was in operation. It later transitioned into a steam-powered burr mill. It was sold for $10 and turned into a cotton gin in 1895, a health spa with mineral waters in 1943, a hospital and clinic in 1949, and today a historical mill and art museum.
Barnard's Mill is designated a Texas State Antiquities Landmark, is registered by the National Trust, and received a bronze marker from the National Society of Colonial Dames XVII Century.