On the way to a North Carolina beach last summer, my husband and I planned to spend a few hours in Cherokee. As we neared Cherokee, we saw a sign for Mingus Mill and decided to explore it. The mill is a short walk from the parking lot. We crossed a foot bridge over a beautiful mountain stream to arrive at the still operating mill.
The historic grist mill was built in 1886 at its current location in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The mill, which uses a water-powered turbine, is also a museum where visitors can learn about the milling process.
This beautiful, peaceful place is about two miles from Cherokee and is well worth stopping.
Cornmeal and wheat flour are sold at the mill. What a treat to talk with the miller who had milled the cornmeal that morning. I couldn’t resist the temptation and purchased both. How fun to buy meal and flour that is tied shut with a string!
This week I followed their suggested recipe for cornbread and used it to make cornbread dressing.
The cornmeal makes a heartier cornbread—and more filling. It was hit at a recent family gathering. The remaining cornmeal went back into storage in the refrigerator so we’ll enjoy cornbread another day.
If you are in the area, stop by. The mill is open daily mid-March through mid-November from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.
-Sandra Merville Hart
“Mingus Mill,” Greatsmokies.com, 2018/12/26 https://www.greatsmokies.com/mingus-mill/.
“Mountain Farm Museum and Mingus Mill,” National Park Service, 2018/12/26 https://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/mfm.htm.