You know The Old Mill is a Pigeon Forge staple for delicious, country-style food and handmade pottery. But did you know it was also one of the first big businesses in Pigeon Forge when it was built in the early 1800’s? The Old Mill in Pigeon Forge offers a rich history and interesting background. Check out the history of the Mill below and you will never look at the restaurant the same way again!
The ground the mill stands upon was originally part of a 151 acre plot of land that Mordecai Lewis received in 1810. Lewis was a Revolutionary War veteran from Virginia who received the land as a grant. Lewis’ son-in-law, Isaac Love, constructed the famous iron forge which bears the city’s name in 1817.
In 1830 Love set off on a new adventure – building a large gristmill adjacent to the iron furnace. The mill was to be used to grind grain and flour for the early settlers to purchase and trade. The internal workings of the mill and impressive in both size and weight – the one ton granite stones grind 1,000 pounds of grain each and every day.
The mill harnesses the powerful water flow of Little Pigeon River with the large and often photographed water wheel. A system of pulleys and belts modifies the river’s power to operate the grain wheels and elevators.
Until 1935, the Mill even supplied electricity to the residents of Pigeon Forge. After a generator was installed in the early 1900’s, the Mill became and even more important part of citizen’s daily lives.
Surprisingly, the historical mill is fully operational to this day. The mill grinds products that are still used in many of the Old Mill’s famous dinner dishes. From hushpuppies to biscuits, the classically made flour gives the dishes at the restaurant a special touch. The Old Mill also grinds it’s own grains for the homemade artisan style bread that the Café & Grill serve daily.
Today, The Old Mill attracts thousands of visitors every year and stands on the National Register of Historic Places. Come snap a picture of the beautiful watermill or just sample their one-of-a-kind cooking. For more information about The Old Mill, visit their website at: http://www.oldmillsquare.com/restaurant.htm