Photograph - Photography
In 1886 Dr. John Mingus contracted with Sion T. Early to build the Mingus Mill presently located in the Oconaluftee Valley within the Great Smokey Mountain National Park. Early was a millwright from Virginia who was working across the mountain in Sevierville, Tennessee at the time, and agreed to do the job in three months for $600.00. His initials, "STE" are cut into the front gable just under the eaves. The mill remained in Mingus-Floyd family hands until acquired by the park in the 1930's. All through the years this was a "custom mill," one that ground to each customer's taste. As such mills go, this one was of small-to-medium size and average sophitication for time and place. Some exterior portions of the mill are constantly in wet/dry cycles and are subject to rot. Thus parts of the complex were rehabilitated in 1937 and again in 1968. The mill was powered by a cast iron turbine that was developed in the 1820's. The turbine operated by water under contained and constant pressure moving through it's vanes. Customers grew their own grain, took it to the mill to be ground to their particular taste and returned home to enjoy a favored recipe for cornbread or biscuits.
August 21st, 2013
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