The1798 Rice Grist Mill Lake City TN
Rice Grist Mill Lake City TN. This 18th Century Rice Grist Mill was originally constructed in 1798 in Union County. The mill was later dismantled and rebuilt on Clear Creek in 1935, where it sits today.
The mill is a two-story log structure with a wooden water wheel. Water is channeled from the top of the wheel and pours over allowing the wheel to turn.
Why So Many Mills?
Back in the day this area was extremely isolated 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 or 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.
Most mills were built and supported by farming communities so that local farmers could easily transport their grain there 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 on suitable for use in mountainous regions with fast-flowing streams.
Caleb Crosby Threshing Barn
Large barns provided shelter for the grinded 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.
Other Power Sources
Many of the mills used teams of oxen and horses to run the threshing machines.
If you enjoy enjoy history and poking around, this is a fun stop. A wonderful example of why we restore historic buildings.
Until next time my friends, take care.