Last week we received our Fall 2013 issue of Northeast Georgia Living magazine and it had a very interesting article about the Nora Mill Granary … a place we used to visit on a regular basis two decades ago. Originally built in 1876, this still functioning grist mill sits on the banks of the Chattahoochee River just outside of Helen, GA. So this mill became the destination for a weekend day trip.
The water in the mill race/sluice is used to power the water turbine below which subsequently turns the mill stones. Unlike many river side mills, Nora Mill uses a water turbine instead of an upright water wheel
The miller, Tommy Martin, was extremely informative and friendly and really seems to enjoy explaining the workings of the mill to kids. Here he is instructing my grandson Noah on releasing the corn into the hopper to be fed to the millstones for grinding. If you look closely, you can see the corn coming out of the bottom of the hopper.
In the picture below the miller is showing with his left hand where the ground meal is coming out from between the millstones and being fed through a chute to containers on the lower level. They are still using the original 1,500 pound French Burr mill stones … WOW!
They have a great country store that sells their products and then some. Grits are their real claim to fame … Dixie Ice Cream (Yellow Speckled mill ground grits) and Georgia Ice Cream (White mill ground grits). They had some of the Dixie Ice Cream and Pioneer Porridge cooking in a couple of crock pots for sampling … a good strategy …
We bought a bag of Dixie Ice Cream, a bag of Pioneer Porridge and a small jar of Mayhaw Jelly (ever since that episode of Duck Dynasty that was almost entirely dedicated to making Mayhaw Jelly, I have been wanting to give it a try).