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!