There were lots of people at this old mill on the Berry College campus last Saturday. I asked Beth to take me to see it even though I knew it would be crowded, and it was. But you would never know it by this photo! I had to wait for folks to drift in and out of my frame or in this case step behind a tree and become hidden from view.
The mill house looks pretty much like a nicely tucked away English cottage. It was built in 1930 and contains an iron hub, which originally was used at Hermitage, an early manufacturing community located near the Shannon Village, which is between Rome and Calhoun, Georgia. It was a gift to the college from Republic Mining and Manufacturing Company. Henry Ford had the hub moved to Berry where the wheel was rebuilt.
Just a little history: The wooden overshot waterwheel, considered one of the largest in the world is 42 feet in diameter and was constructed by student workers. For years, the mill was operated by Mr. Green Berry Goodson, who ground Berry-grown corn into meal and grits. When in use, water is piped directly from Berry’s reservoir lake to the wheel. Once it is primed, the force of gravity is strong enough to push the water up the stone column and over the wheel causing it to turn.
The wheel was completely rebuilt in 1977 as a cooperative project involving Berry students, staff, alumni, and friends. In 1985, the mill was restored so it could grind corn meal once again. Today, it is operated on special occasions such as Mountain Day.
This is a great place for dogs and people. There are lots of trails and the environment is totally safe. I’ll be returning with the pooches in the near future. Cocoa is going to love it! It will be a “five paws” event!