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The Old Mill in Pigeon Forge is one of the most popular destinations to visit. With the restaurants, shops, and historical value, you can see why it’s a great place to visit! We want to share some interesting things about this unique place in the Smokies. Check out these 7 facts you may not know about The Old Mill in Pigeon Forge:
1. The Old Mill in Pigeon Forge is almost 200 years old.
The Old Mill is one of the oldest structures in the area. A man named Mordecai Lewis moved to Tennessee from Virginia and bought the land the mill sits on. His grandson, William Love, built the mill in 1830 to grind corn.
2. It used to be a post office.
William Love was appointed postmaster in 1841 and turned part of the grist mill into the post office. This was also around the time the community was named Pigeon Forge by Love. He came up with the name because of his father’s forge and the passenger pigeons that would roost in the trees near the river.
3. The building was used during the Civil War.
A man named John Trotter bought the mill from Love. In 1861, the Civil War started, and Tennessee was one of the last states to secede from the Union. East Tennessee was split between the Union and the Confederacy. John Trotter was a Unionist. He set up a secret loom on the second floor of the mill building to create Union uniforms. The third floor was eventually used as a makeshift hospital. The Old Mill is actually on the Civil War Trail in Tennessee.
4. The wheel has been replaced twice.
In 1875, a flash flood came through and destroyed the water wheel and the bridge. The community rebuilt the bridge, and the wheel was replaced. Then again in 1920, another flood comes through and destroys the water wheel and bridge again. The water wheel was replaced, and the bridge was rebuilt with concrete.
5. There are two restaurants on site.
When tourism began to grow in the area, three families came together in 1993 and used part of The Old Mill building to create the Cornflour Restaurant where families visiting the area can get a delicious meal. Two years later, these families sold the restaurant and the name was changed to the Old Mill Restaurant. The other restaurant, the Old Mill Pottery House Cafe and Grill, was started in 2003. The building used belonged to a man named Douglas Ferguson who came to the area to make pottery because of the red clay. Pottery is still made on site at Pigeon River Pottery.
6. Pottery made on site is used in the restaurants.
The pottery made at Pigeon River Pottery is actually used at both restaurants. You will find large plates, small plates, bowls, containers, salt and pepper shakers, and decor at the restaurants. If you see one you love, you can actually purchase it at the pottery store.
7. The Old Mill is still in use.
One fact people may not realize about The Old Mill in Pigeon Forge is it is still in use. The grinding stones had to be replaced in 1977, but the grist mill is still used to this day to grind flour and cornmeal. The products ground at the mill are used in both restaurants to make delicious food you will find there. Flour is also used at the bakery on site, and you will find bread at the restaurants used for sandwiches, appetizers, and much more. You can purchase loaves of bread at the bakery. If you want to make your own meals at home, you will find flour and cornmeal for sale at the Old Mill General Store.
Now you know a little bit more about The Old Mill in Pigeon Forge! Want even more information on this historical square? Here’s your ultimate guide to The Old Mill in Pigeon Forge!