Views of Mills Circa 1850-70
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 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 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.
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.