Friday, January 18, 2013

A Mill Outing

 After days and days of rain, the sun came out today and I think we all jumped for joy.  All week I've been planning a little outing - me and the girls - to the mill nearby our house just as soon as it was warm enough.  But our afternoon turned out to be even more unexpectedly fun when my in-laws surprised us by driving up to visit us.  When I suggested that we all go to the mill, everyone seemed thrilled with the idea, and my parents tagged along too.  Just as we were standing in the driveway, my brother (who lives a few hours away) had decided to surprise us too and drove up!  So we all piled in our cars and headed out for a late lunch of delicious barbeque and an outing to the mill afterwards.  Our planned party of three turned into a party of nine and we had such a great afternoon that I thought I'd share a little of it with you. 

 Just fifteen minutes from our house is a family-owned mill that grinds flour, cornmeal and grits.  It's a beautiful place tucked away in the countryside complete with waterfalls, walking trails and old barns.  The mill was originally a textile factory dating back to the 1870's and for the past 30 years has operated as a grain mill.

  It's always fascinating to see the antique grain milling machinery hard at work.  We've been buying flours and grits here for a few years now... preservatives are not added to their grains and today I was pleased to learn that the mill's local wheat supplier grows his wheat organically.  I love supporting local farms and although it's so easy to go with convenience (especially with two little ones), I'm hoping to do a little better this year. 

 The girls were oh so happy to be outside today.  I don't think it mattered at all to any of us that we couldn't feel our fingers by the time we were finished... we were too busy enjoying the sunshine and fresh air.

 My favorite part of the mill is the century-old 32' water wheel which is still used to power the milling equipment.  Today was the first time I've walked behind the mill and I promised myself that I'm coming back often this spring and summer with the girls to picnic by the river. 

Rosetta was on cloud nine today getting to spend time with both sets of grandparents (smile).

I was pretty happy myself getting to spend a little time with my camera... I hadn't picked it up in almost a week! 

I came home with a bag-full of goodies, including yellow cornmeal and whole wheat flour.  I think baking bread is in the forecast for tomorrow!  

Happy Weekend!


  1. Oh my gosh, what a beautiful place and wonderful day! I love old places like that, especially ones that are still working. When my mother lived in Pennsylvania, I used to love to visit the old mills and graineries that were still in use and over 100 years old...actually I wanted so bad to live in one!
    Glad you picked up your camera on took us on the trip with you. :)

  2. That really was a fun weekend. I love how it turned out to be your family too very sweet. The mill looks lovely and so do the girls. Sweet post

  3. wondering is this off I 24 south of Nashville "a ways" :)? Im in Nashville. There is a fabulous mill and village near Bloomington Indiana, Spring Mill State Park, we went several times a year when I was a kid, love old mills. E

  4. What a beautiful mill and special place to take your family...I love that it is historic and that it still retains its purpose as a mill. We are losing historic mills all the time here in NC- makes me sad!

  5. What a fun family outing! Looks like fun.


  6. I am happy you had a great time all of you together! I have also committed myself to buying locally and seasonally often as possible and I would love to find a mill like this closed to my home. Great photos!

  7. How great to be able to buy flour so close to home!

    This post reminds me of one of our favourite family reads. My kids love the book by Richard Scarry - What Do People Do All Day? In it there is a story about how grain is ground into flour, showing a side view of an old-fashioned mill, complete with water wheel and everything. They are fascinated by it and to be honest, so am I - it's so much more romantic than a modern factory! So great to see a mill like this still functional.

    Lovely outing. Thanks for inviting us. I completely adore your blog. :)

  8. What a special day! Your photos are so pretty. The mill is amazing. I see why you like to go there. So cool that it's near your home. Looks like a perfect day!

  9. Wow ~ such a special place and picnics are definitely in order this summer. So nice you got to spend the afternoon there in the sunshine with your family!

  10. I am once again so envious of you having grandparents close by. So nice that you and your girls will have memories such as this. (And I hear you about the sun! What's a few cold fingers when we get glorious light this time of year? :-))

  11. I was so happy to see your post in my email this morning! They always seem to make my day. That mill is incredible. A piece of Americana in real's so nice to expose your kids to things like that. I think it makes them appreciate their heritage. Have a wonderful day and enjoy the weekend. I'm heading out of town to meet up with my daughter. Can't wait. :o)

  12. What beautiful photos of a lovely near-by-area. How amazing to have this with-in driving/visiting distance. Look forward to sharing more visits here, with you and your Darlings.


  13. It's wonderful that you have a working mill nearby and to have the opportunity to share that with your children. Gorgeous photos and your and corn meal look like they are ready to bake with:)


  14. Old mills are one of my favorite places to visit. I'm always facinated by the water wheel too. I always stock up on corn meal when I go (store it in the freezer). How fortunate to live so close to one!

  15. Oh what a fun place to visit! your photos are so pretty

  16. What a fun day for all of you! I love the pictures of the old mill. Your kids are so cute too!

    Have a great day.

  17. Homemade bread is the best. Makes the best cinnamon toast in the mornings.

  18. Amazing! We live in a renovated mill and i love to see others. I have actually not yet seen a working one so your photos are especially fun to see!

  19. What a wonderful day it was...the mill and property is just great to hear that there are still wonderful old mills that are still "working"....It must to be nice to be able to get such great flour and grits...My friend has property in Virginia in which an old Grist Mill still stands...but it is not working now...but how beautiful that building is ... standing proud after all these years...

  20. What a fun day trip!A beautiful day too! It is pretty cold around here longing for spring!

  21. My in laws live by a working grain mill too in South Carolina. I always pick up cornmeal, grits and wheat to keep in the freezer. There is nothing like knowing it is fresh and has no preservatives in it!
    I just found your blog and will be coming around often!

  22. I "collect" old mills and when we travel I'm always finding them to visit. Would you care to share where this one is so I can add it to my list? It's really beautiful, and how wonderful that this piece of the past has been preserved. So many have been lost. In my home county (Ozark Co., Mo.) there are still five mills standing. People come from all over to do the driving tour. Only one is still in operation, but we're thankful the structures have at least been preserved.

    1. How wonderful! This mill is Falls Mill... it is located in Belvidere, TN.


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