Fried apple fritters, fresh baked goods, crispy Southern fried chicken, savory shrimp and grits, unique pottery, homemade candies and chocolates, an operational grist mill…
Where can you find all this in one place? Visit The Old Mill Square next time you’re in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. With 2 restaurants, the Old Mill, a candy shop, a pottery store, a creamery, an iron forge, a distillery, and lots of unique, handmade items (gifts, food, and more) at 2 country stores, The Old Mill Square is a wonderful place to spend a day walking, shopping, and eating on a Pigeon Forge vacation with your partner, family, friends, or a fun group.
History of The Old Mill
A beautiful spot in the heart of Pigeon Forge, The Old Mill holds an important place in the rich history of the Great Smoky Mountains. Built in the mid-1800s, the water-powered grist mill became an important feature on the Little Pigeon River. The mill’s purpose was to ground meals and flours used by settlers in the area. Because it was such a crucial part of daily life, the area around the Old Mill quickly became a popular place for residents to gather and trade.
Over the years, the primary use of the mill has changed, serving as a place to house wounded soldiers and sew uniforms during the Civil War. The area where the General Store is now was even home to the first Post Office in Pigeon Forge! And until 1935, the Old Mill provided electricity for the town. An incredible piece of Pigeon Forge history, the Old Mill continues to run via the waterpower of the Little Pigeon River today, grinding grain 6 days a week before it’s hand bagged and sold right in The Old Mill Square.
Restaurants at The Old Mill
Enjoy homemade dishes in the Pottery House Café and Grille or The Old Mill Restaurant, get fresh-baked goods and sauces and dips, or get some stone-ground grains so you can make your own delicious biscuits, grits, fritters, and more.
The Old Mill Pottery House Café and Grille
Sit down for a meal by the water with fresh-baked bread, sandwiches, homemade desserts, and so much more. Soups will warm you up on fall and winter days, grilled dishes and fresh salads are great for spring and summer days, and desserts like the chocolate pecan pie and lemonade pie will finish off any meal perfectly.
The Old Mill Restaurant
You won’t hear Pigeon Forge restaurants without hearing about The Old Mill. Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner riverside, this Southern spot serves up heaping plates of food, from family-style vegetables and fried chicken to fritters with maple butter and mini muffins for breakfast. It’s a menu full of comfort foods here, with turkey and dressing, meatloaf, chicken pot pie, and pot roast to name a few.
Goods from the Gristmill & Pantry
What says Pigeon Forge more than history and homemade? At The Old Mill, get both with the cornmeal, flour, grits, oats, and mixes made by the historic gristmill! Grab a bag and whip up your own pancakes, biscuits, and fritters from your own full kitchen in your Pigeon Forge cabin. At the pantry, find honey, fruit butters, dips, jams and jellies, pickles, salsas, soup mixes, spices, and syrups to make any meal extra special.
Fresh Baked Goods, Homemade Candies & Ice Cream!
Along with the delicious homemade desserts you’ll find at The Old Mill Restaurant and The Old Mill Pottery House Café & Grille, you can get fresh baked goods to take with you. Here are just a few of the treats you can get:
- Cinnamon Raisin Bread
- Moonshine Cake
- Green Olive Bread
- French Toast Cake
- Cranberry Walnut Bread
- Sweet Potato Pecan Bread
- Chocolate Pecan Pie
Candy is another favorite in the Smokies, and there’s no shortage of that at The Old Mill Candy Kitchen. Nosh on pralines and divinity, old-fashioned stick candy, rock candy, peanut and cashew brittle, toffee, turtles, pecan logs, and more!
And on hot summer days, cool off with handmade ice cream in a cone, bowl, shake, or sundae at The Old Mill Creamery, where the Ice Cream Bar serves up a wide range of flavors and signature treats. Want to get your mouth watering? Here’s just a small taste:
- Black Lantern Chocolate
- Smoky Mountain Strawberry
- Homemade waffle cones
- Oat Mill Cream Pie
- Gristmill Toffeegrind
- Brown Butter Black Walnut
- Homemade ice cream sandwiches
Handmade, One-of-a-kind Pottery
Another important part of the history and culture in Pigeon Forge is art. From paintings and wood carvings to leather goods and pottery, handmade art in the Smokies is a great way to take home a piece of the mountains. At The Old Mill Square, find beautiful and unique pieces that blend form and function at Pigeon River Pottery. You can get berry bowls, chip and dip platters, vases, bacon cookers, mugs, pie plates, planters, pitchers, cake stands, wine glasses, and one-of-a-kind statues!
Ironwork Demonstrations & Blacksmithing Lessons
Working metal is a longtime tradition in the Smokies. After all, it ain’t called Pigeon Forge for nothin’! At Iron Mountain Metal Craft, you can watch pro blacksmiths at work or take a beginner or intermediate blacksmithing lesson. You can work on a railroad spike knife, a pony shoe knife, or a horseshoe knife. Or you can forge your own dream knife from raw materials! It’s a unique vacation experience you’ll be eager to share and not soon forget. How many people do you know who have forged their own knife?!
Moonshine & Spirits
Once a historic barn, now a popular distillery in Pigeon Forge, the Old Forge Distillery is a must-stop on your stroll in The Old Mill Square. The distillery produces small-batch spirits, including Southern moonshine made from stone-ground grains and pure mountain spring water. Pop in for moonshine samples at the Tasting Bar, grab a cool knife forged at Iron Mountain Metal Craft or handmade moonshine jugs made at Pigeon River Pottery from the gift store and take a few bottles of whiskey, bourbon, rum, or vodka back to enjoy at your cabin rental.
Farmhouse Kitchen & General Store
Featuring signature sauces, soup mixes, and other ingredients to whip up restaurant dishes, dishware and cooking items for the kitchen, plus homemade jams and Southern sweets, The Old Mill Farmhouse Kitchen is a great stop for chefs and food lovers. Enjoy samples while you browse or watch a cooking demonstration. The clerks are super friendly, so feel free to ask any questions about recipes or favorite items.
Step through The Old Mill’s original door into The Old Mill General Store that shares space with the working grist mill. Here, you can see grain being ground into fine meal with a century’s old technique, creating 1,000 pounds of product each day the mill is open. You can purchase some of this ground meal as a pancake mix, flour, grits, or another form at the store. Plus, there are tons of other products available, like regional crafts, classic Smoky Mountain souvenirs, funny toys, and more!
Gifts To Go
Don’t have time to explore the entire Old Mill Square? Grab a few gifts or samplers to go instead! In a world where many of us have too much stuff, sweet treats and salsas are delicious gifts that won’t end up in the yard sale a few years down the road. The Old Mill has some wonderful gift-worthy treats for birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, and more. Or you can get a gift for yourself to enjoy at the cabin.
Start anyone’s morning off right with the Breakfast at The Old Mill basket, Misty Morning Sampler, or Mini Honey Butter Sampler. Dip mixes — like the Almond Poppyseed, Bacon and Cheddar Cheesespread, BLT, Cajun, Caramel Apple, and Cranberry Walnut — are perfect for game-day snacks and small add-on gifts. Chocolate Gravy and Campfire Mixed Bean Soup mixes are bestsellers, and gift cards are great for anyone!
Old Mill Avenue
Pigeon Forge, TN 37863
Just Keep Browsing…
When you’re done at The Old Mill, you’ll find several other great places to browse, shop, and eat in the area. At The Village Shops in Gatlinburg, check out hand-pulled taffy, outdoor gear, personalized gifts, homemade cheese, coffee, Thomas Kinkade’s work, hand-thrown pottery, jewelry, hot sauce, ice cream, and a lovely fountain in the center.
At The Apple Barn & Cider Mill in Sevierville, try the Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant or the Farmhouse Grill before grabbing some ice cream or old-fashioned candies to go. The 2 restaurants offer more hearty Southern meals, all served with their famous Applewoods Apple Fritters®. At breakfast, get a glass of the refreshing Applewood Julep® alongside your bacon and waffles. Lunch and dinner include favorites like Southern fried chicken, country fried steak, sugar-cured ham, local trout, and sides like fried okra, creamed corn, and dumplings.
Of course, you can always just hop aboard a trolley and explore the Parkway in Pigeon Forge, fill up your shopping bags at the Tanger Outlet stores, or head over to Gatlinburg to see the artists on the historic Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community loop. There are so many ways to explore the Great Smoky Mountains, through food, art, history, music, and fantastic views.
Where to Stay
After exploring The Old Mill Square, head back to your cozy and peaceful cabin rental in the Great Smoky Mountains. Pigeon Forge TN Cabins currently has 450+ options in the Pigeon Forge and neighboring Gatlinburg area that range from 1-16 bedrooms and budget friendly to luxury. Pets are welcome at our pet-friendly rentals, and our amenity options are practically endless (see for yourself below). If you need any help planning your stay, our Vacation Specialists are ready to serve.
- Private indoor pool (some with waterfalls, swim-in grottos, and color-changing lights)
- Outdoor hot tub (some with TVs)
- Indoor jetted tub
- Community pool access
- Home theater with big screen TV or projector
- Game room (pool, air hockey, foosball, arcade, etc.)
- Big screen TVs
- TV in every bedroom
- King, queen, twin & full beds
- High speed Wi-Fi
- Fully equipped kitchen
- Dining area
- Wood burning, gas, or electric fireplaces
- Outdoor firepit
- Gas or charcoal grill
- Rocking chairs & porch swings
- Spacious decks
- Mountain, river, wooded, or city views
When you’re ready to plan your Pigeon Forge vacation, reach out to us at 1.866.513.7885. And be sure to add visiting The Old Mill Square on your itinerary — it’s a classic Pigeon Forge experience filled with history, flavor, and fun that you won’t want to miss!