First light at Glade Creek Mill......
Some say this is the most photographed gristmill in America I would have to agree for the last thirty or so years. Marbry Mill has been around for a lot longer and has been documented in photos for a great while longer than Glade Creek. Glade Creek is just a stunning place to visit, great people at the Babcock State Park make this destination fun and interesting the park is beautifully kept and offers trails, bike paths, camping, fishing, kayaking any sort of outdoor recreation.
The New River George area is a top tier recreation area that offers beautiful surroundings around every corner. A favorite destination for me I have visited many times in all seasons and yet it still draws me back. This is the last shot I took before my fall that broke the lens off my camera body. I am a Gristmill enthusiast and have drug my children to many many mills, often at their displeasure, I belong to the great organization called SPOOM the Society for the Preservation Of Old Mills, they can be found at http://www.spoom.org. To date I have circumnavigated America to photograph over three hundred of these gristmill sites. Most of the Gristmills today are in serious decay or in ruins, hard to believe, our American heritage goes back to the many gristmills that started most of our communities today. Gristmills were the Mall of America in its heyday they were the meeting places Americans traded goods or had their toils changed to useful and tradable commodities, for products, for consumption. These Gristmills were the engines that made America prosper and grow, if you are lucky enough to have one close by visit your heritage, help renovate these treasures before its to late.
I hope someday to write a book about these wonderful American treasures that sit in your backyard, there is no image that depicts the American heritage more to me than a great image of a waterwheel on the side of a building, they normally rest near beautiful rivers and streams forgotten by their passerby's only to become dilapidated and bulldozed for that bright shinny seven eleven.....sad. Help save a reminder of Americana visit the SPOOM website, tell them I sent ya.....hope you enjoy this image of your past, Americans!
For all the great folks outside America this Gristmill site rests in Babcock State Park a little north and east of Beckley West Virginia, it sits in Appalachia an area rich in American history, the New River is said to be our continents oldest river.
Yes most of these mills are east of the Mississippi, SPOOM offers a directory of these sites for sale and although the directions given in them are scetchy at best remember you are looking for landmarks that have been developed around so some of the landmarks described in the directions to these places no longer exist. There have been many many tanks of gasoline exhausted in my search for some of these gristmills only to be not even close to where they really are, thats how much the area around the mill sites have changed, enjoy your quest Barry, we have met some unbelievable people along the way to find them....most of the people that have them now are like minded of our ancestors, self motivated entrepreneurs wanting to restore American heritage for Americans....thanks for your question.
I do Mills with waterwheels only......Thanks for the great info, I will pass that on! Enjoyed the story Ed.
Thank you for all the wonderful comments and questions!
gristmillmillglade creekwest virginiaphotoperson