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Saturday, November 9, 2013

Regan's Mill and Mingus Mill Revisited

While we went to the Smokies for the fall color, there was still a lot of green to be seen in late October, especially along the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail.  I took a few pictures at Regan's Mill, and this year we even crossed the road and wandered around the homesite.  Afred and his wife had seven children and they all lived in the small home. The attic was converted to two bedrooms for extra sleeping space.  Just think of Little House on the Prairie, except with more kids!  I had to borrow a shot from the internet as I accidentally deleted mine!  Theirs was better anyway.

Alfred Regan not only operated the area's grist mill, he also was a blacksmith, operated the general store, harvested timber and was even a part-time minister! That sounds amazing to us, but in those times it wasn't unusual to have so many skills, it was essential for survival.  The soil in this area is quite rocky so farming was limited to growth of food for personal and farm animal use.  The main crop was corn and it was ground at this tub mill that was built around 1900.  It wasn't the only mill in the area, but would operate when others wouldn't due to low water thanks to its fine construction.

horizontal turbine

We also revisited Mingus Mill when we went to Maggie Valley.  I didn't get the shots I wanted there, fall color was spotty and things looked really dry.

I did walk down the flume and visit the source of the flowing water this time.

Since we got there right at opening time we got to see the miller put the steps in his ladder and climb up to get the water going to the mill.

There was a wood stove going inside on that chilly morning, which was a nice historical touch.  They still grind flour at the mill, and this time I took a picture upstairs of the equipment up there.  The wheat or corn was transported upstairs by bucket to be blown clean before going back downstairs for grinding. After the wheat flour is ground it is again transported upstairs and fed to the bolting chest to separate it into different grades of fineness.

For more pictures, you can see our spring 2012 trip to Regan's Mill here and to Mingus Mill here.


  1. You do a really great job of capturing details of the places you visit and getting them accurate. Mingus Mill is my favorite of the old mills still found in the park (I think there are five, but don't quote me!!). Didn't get over there this year. Maybe a Saturday drive now that the tourists have gone home!

  2. What a beautiful place! Loved your photos, especially the one of the old mill. Someday I'll have to make a trip out east.

  3. Grist for the mill - there, I've always wanted to say that!

    What an idyllic looking spot. Great photos. Sure sounds like Mr. Regan was a real handyman.

  4. Interesting post. I've not seen a horizontal turbine before.

  5. I love the Smokies any time of year, but autumn is my favorite. Love your photos...

  6. Nice to see you have old mills still working there, those building are amazing

  7. I love going to places like this - looked very cool.