Mingus Mill is one of the many historic structures preserved and maintained in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
In the Nineteenth Century, the center of industry in rural America was the grist mill. These marvels of physics harvested natural forces, usually water, to convert grain to usable meal or flour.
Mingus Mill, which was constructed in 1886, utilized state-of-the-art turbine technology to power its machinery. Water was directed down a millrace to propel the turbine which was connected to a series of cogs and belts that would power the entire operation of the mill.
Typically, in a cash poor society, the miller would simply charge a “toll” by keeping a percentage of the finished product. Ten percent was the generally accepted fee paid for the convenience of having the grain processed and bagged.
As a result, owner and investors in mills were among the wealthiest citizens of a community. It was a very profitable business for those that could procure the capital needed for construction.
Mingus Mill is located on the Newfound Gap Road about a mile north of the Oconaluftee Vistor’s Center near Cherokee North Carolina. It’s a one hundred and twenty-four year step back into history that is just a few miles from 2010 civilization!
All photos courtesy of Richard Weisser and SmokyPhotos.com