Barker’s Creek Mill – Rabun Gap, Georgia

This past weekend my grandson and I visited the Barker’s Creek Mill at the Hambidge Center in Rabun Gap, Georgia.  It is open the first Saturday of each month from 1- 4pm and fully operational as they were milling corn into both meal and grits.

In the next picture, the sluice gate is closed so the mill pond level can go back up … and there will be more water flowing down the sluice when they open the gate … providing more power to the mill wheel.

My grandson got to open the sluice gate and chain it down … unfortunately the photographer was asleep on the job and missed it.  But you can see that the mill sluice is full of water … more power for the mill wheel.

And so the water flows down the sluice to the mill wheel …

And the water powers this overshot wheel which in turn rotates the axle going into the mill which in then powers the turning of the millstones to do the grinding o the corn …

Once again the photographer did not do so good with some of his inside the mill pictures … the black hopper in the middle is full of dried corn kernels and is shaking and feeding the corn into the millstones to be ground and if you look closely you can see the ground meal shooting out into the wooden crib on the left … my Dad had a real fascination with mills so I learned a lot about them through the years.  While this is a small mill … it is a really good one for revealing how the mill process works.

And we came home with a bag of yellow grits ground at that very mill.

Here is some background info from the Hambidge Center website:

“Barker’s Creek Mill has been providing the local community with milling services since the mid 1800’s. Mary Hambidge built the current mill in 1944 at the site of an older mill that served the community since the first white settlers came into the area in the late 1820’s.

The mill is powered by a 12-foot overshot wheel set on babbet bearings. It was converted from a wooden spoked, steel-rimmed wheel to the current metal spokes in the 1960’s. The mill has been renovated three times in its life, the most recent in the late 1980’s. The mill itself is a vertical mill with two 16″ flint/granite stones. It was built by the Meadow’s Milling Company in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina.

Barker’s Creek Mill is still operated by Hambidge on the First Saturday of each month from 1p.m. to 4 p.m., and by appointment to provide milling services to area farmers. Our volunteer miller, Woody Malot (also a Physics instructor in Rabun Gap) demonstrates the workings of this historic gristmill and is happy to answer any questions. Members of Woody’s family have been mill operators and builders since the 1750’s.

Grits and cornmeal stone ground at the mill from locally grown corn are regularly served up to our artists-in-residence and can be purchased in the Hambidge Gallery, or at the mill on First Saturdays.”

Til next time … may God bless you and yours in all you do!


About bwebbjr

A grandfather, father, husband, man, and a child of God who is following Christ Jesus and working out his salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work IN me, both to will and to work for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:12-13). I dodged my first bullet with cancer when a cancerous polyp was removed in a sigmoid colectomy surgery in August 2007. Four years later, in the midst of a second colectomy surgery we discovered I had Stage IV metastatic colon cancer. Rather than colectomy surgery I had colostomy surgery, which now means the colostomy bag is a part of my everyday life ... with the emphasis on life. God has given us a peace beyond understanding as my wife and I have traveled this journey. By the grace of God I am blessed to be a 6 plus year cancer survivor aka warrior. In writing, I am often wrestling with my own personal struggles and beliefs and in the midst God leads me to a lesson He wants me to learn ... or sometimes He simply touches me in the revelation of Himself. My hope is that the result you see here might touch your heart and glorify God. And let me be clear ... I am not the only one with something to say. Please join in the conversation sharing your faith, your cancer experiences, etc. I would love to hear from you. Bernie
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3 Responses to Barker’s Creek Mill – Rabun Gap, Georgia

  1. Anne Kirkland says:


    This brought back wonderful memories of my childhood. Growing up on a farm in the North Carolina mountains afforded adventures and experiences that I share with very few people. We raised most of our food, and cooked everything from scratch…on a wood stove in my early years. Cornbread was a part of our diet year-round, because it was as wonderful with fresh garden vegetables as it was with winter dried beans and greens. We raised a lot of corn…bpth for us and for the livestock. It would be placed in the corn crib and allowed to dry, then we would shell it using a hand-cranked corn sheller. The bags of white corn were then taken to a grist mill very similar to the one you visited, and I remember the thrill of getting to go there with my dad. We would surrender the bags to the mill operator, and then watch the process as it was turned into fresh cornmeal.

    I can still remember the aroma and texture of the air in that mill, thick with minute particles of corn dust that escaped into the air, settling onto almost every surface. Most wonderful, though, is the memory of my mother at our kitchen table, first sifting out the chaff (I have her flat wire sifter!), then mixing in salt, leavening and homemade buttermilk, baking it in a hot cast iron skillet, and serving her family the most delicious cornbread in the world.

    Precious memories, how they linger.
    How they ever flood my soul
    In the stillness of the midnight
    Precious, sacred scenes unfold…

    • bwebbjr says:

      Anne –


      Thanks so much for sharing childhood memories of farm life and visits to the grist mill.

      Precious memories indeed!

      Love to you and Kenny!


  2. Hi there! I’m at work surfing around your blog from my new iphone 3gs!Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog and look forward to all
    your posts! Keep up the superb work!

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