The 19th-century village of Rio Mills stood on the north bank of the Rivanna River near the base of the current reservoir dam. Following the Battle of Rio Hill on 29 February 1864, Union General George A. Custer burned the covered bridge and mills at Rio Mills. Rebuilt before the end of the war, it closed early in the 20th century. Nothing remains of the village. A Virginia Highway marker is located on the southbound lane of US 29 before Rio Mills Road.