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More Interior Views of Mills Circa 1850-70

Platform Scales in the Elisha Atherton Coray Mill,
Sutton's Creek, Exeter, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania.
Notice the bottom of the scales contains legs,
and not rollers as on modern platform scales.

More Interior Views of Mills Circa 1850-70
by Theodore R. Hazen

Things are not always the way they appear!

The Flour Mill that became a Grist Mill. Mingus Flour Mill, Great Smokey Mountains National Park, Oconalufee, North Carolina. A variety of dates given for its construction: 1866, 1870's, and 1886. Basically the mill was made to look more rural country and old timey.

Second floor large flour bolting machine.

Second floor large flour bolting machine that occupies almost the entire second floor. The large bolter contains several bolting reels and a number of chutes underneath for the various grades of material sifted from the ground grain. To the right of the vertical support post in an elevator. The second floor of this mill is usually closed and not accessible to visitors.

First floor millstone platform.

First floor millstone platform contains two pairs of millstones. The mill is used today to grind wheat and corn. The ground wheat and corn falls by meal chute into the meal bins in front of the millstones. Between the millstones is an elevator. To the right of the center support post is the cut off elevator legs as seen in the photo above. To the left of the center support post are product chutes from the bolter above. On the ceiling or second floor joist above the millstone to the right (the down stream side of the mill), is a block to hold the top pin of the millstone crane when it is moved from the left side (the up stream side of the mill) to lift the millstone on the right side. This is not unusual in mills when a single millstone crane had to be moved from one position to another to lift different millstones. On the ceiling to the right is a line shaft and the remains of the bottom of a sink or hopper that perhaps filled a bin or flour packer.

Close-up detail of first floor millstone platform.

A close-up detail of first floor millstone platform on the left (upstream side of the mill). Notice the meal bin in front of the millstone has no meal chute cut or opening from the millstones to the bin. The single millstone crane is show behind the millstones. The tentering rod and hand wheel are missing from this side of the mill. To the left of the platform steps is the leg and boot of an elevator.

Former park historian Ed Trout wrote a history of the mills of the Great Smoky Mountains which has been long out-of-print. The only publication that is available as to the mill's history is "Grist Mills of the Smokies," by Michal Struttin. This 16 page booklet covers only the four restored park grist mills: Mingus Mill, John P. Cable Mill, Reagan Tub Mill, and the Ogle Mill or Junglebrook Tub Mill. This book is available from the Great Smoky Mountains Natural History Association.. The National Park Service has no history of these mills or other mills once found in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park available on the internet. There is no education or interpretive material available by the NPS about the people, the buildings and the culture of the Park.

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Copyright 2001 by T.R. Hazen.