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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Falls Mill

Started this weekend out by going to a little craft fair down at the local park that wasn’t much to see. At least not for a guy. Emily didn’t find too much to her liking either. We left there and did a little grocery shopping at the local Wal-Mart and then tripped over to Tullahoma to a Kroger’s. That was 30 miles away. Long story but the jest of it is they ordered her some Walden Farms 0 calorie 0 sugar products. They hadn’t come in, so it ended up being a lunch at Red Lobster.

After lunch we took a little trip over to Falls Mills. Its a private non-profit venture that is trying to save a little piece of American industrial and agricultural history on the banks of Factory Creek near Belvidere, Tennessee.

“This attraction holds great appeal for those interested in the antique machinery and process used in both the printing of early documents and the grinding of agricultural products. Built in 1873 as a cotton woolen factory, the mill was later converted – first for use as a cotton gin and then as a woodworking shop. Today, a 32 foot steel water wheel (over 100 years old) powers millstones the grind cornmeal, flour and grits (which can be purchased on site). The building containing the mill also houses a two story museum where you can see a printing press, hand looms, power looms, spinning wheels, and wool-carding machinery. Adjacent to the mill is a bed and breakfast log cabin for overnight guests.”*

It is a quite picturesque place. The really cool thing about it is it is an excellent example of privatized hydro power. In this case it turns a huge water wheel and powers grinding wheels. But the same concept could be used for electrical power if you happen to have this kind of water resource around. Not a lot of us will ever have it, but still it’s a cool idea for pollution free energy.

The area around the mill is very pleasant and it’s worth a visit. The owners are nice and when you see their home -pictured here - you kind of turn green with envy.

The mill itself is a fun place to explore and the owners let you have the run of the place for $4 a head and after watching a 5 minute video history presentation. Kind of serene too.

You’ll find lots of fun stuff here and there.

Oh, yea! Their overnight cabin is cute.

* This description came from Charles and Daniel Frew's (father and son) book 52 Weekends in the Tennessee Valley. ISBN 0-9777415-0-8

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