1798 Rice Grist Mill in Lake City Tennessee

1798 Rice Grist Mill in Lake City Tennessee

The 1798 Rice Grist Mill in Lake City Tennessee is an 18th Century Rice Grist Mill that was originally constructed in 1798 in Union County. The mill was later dismantled and rebuilt on Clear Creek in 1935, where it sits today.

General Information

General:We spent half an hour during a spring rainstorm exploring the grounds of the mill in Norris Dam State Park which holds a mill with a working paddle wheel and threshing barn.
Hours:April 15th to  October 31st Wednesday through Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
County:Anderson County and Campbell County
Google Map Location:Google Map Location

Purpose of Rice Grist Mills

Back in the day, homes were extremely isolated from one another and there were no grocery stores to visit. People who lived in the valley grew their own crops or bartered for items that they needed and didn’t produce themselves.

Grain Mills Were Important

Grain mills were an important part of being able to grind grains like corn, wheat, and rice into flour for making bread. The mills provided the service to the farmers of the area.  In exchange, the mill received a percentage of the crop that they were grinding. The percentage that the mill received was called the miller’s toll.

Location Location

Most mills were built on rivers and creeks and supported by farming communities so that local farmers could easily transport their grain by wagon grain to be milled.

Why Use Wooden Paddles?

Water mills have large wooden paddles to move and grind the grain  This simple arrangement required no gears, but has a disadvantage. The speed rotation of the paddle is dependent on the volume and flow of water that is available.  Therefore, only it is suitable for use in mountainous regions with fast-flowing streams.

Caleb Crosby Threshing Barn

Large barns provided shelter for the ground grain and for the oxen and horse teams that powered the mills. The Caleb Crosby Threshing Barn stood for about 100 years along the north side of the Holston River. The threshing barn was dismantled and donated to the National Park Service during the building of the Cherokee Dam.   The barn sat for 34 years.  In 1978, the barn was reconstructed downstream from Rice Grist Mill in Norris Dam State Park, TN

If you enjoy history and poking around, the 1798 Rice Grist Mill in Lake City Tennessee is a fun stop.  This a wonderful example of why we restore historic buildings.

Explore More Tennessee

Old Cabins in the Smokey Mountain National Park
Piney Falls State Natural Area Waterfall & Suspension Bridge

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