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Mingus Mill

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

North Carolina

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

North Carolina

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

near Cherokee, NC in the beautiful GSMNP

The Oconaluftee river just north of Mingus Mill.

I absolutely love this particular spot in the national park, it is right beside the main road but still kind of hidden.

Mingus Mill a historic grist mill built in 1886 that's still functional today. Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

 

All Rights Reserved - Param Sandhu

Mingus Mill today is nestled among trees, but, in its heyday, the mill was surrounded by cleared fields and crops. Although the Mingus family, who moved into the Oconaluftee Valley in the 1790s, probably built an earlier mill on this site. The present structure was completed in 1886. The family paid $600 to millwright contractor Sion Thomas Early to build the mill in three months. The mill's distinction was its metal turbine, an improvement on the traditional wooden waterwheel that made Mingus Mill one of the most advanced in the Smokies.

Mingus Mill, in Cherokee, NC.

Built in 1886.

 

This turbine powered mill ground corn into meal and wheat into flour for over fifty years for the mountain community near Mingus Creek.

In place of a wooden water wheel, a small steel turbine provides power to turn the mill's stones and machinery.

 

The National Park Service rehabilitated the mill in 1968,

Mingus Mill operates during the summer as a historical exhibit.

 

Forest reflection in the window of Mingus Mill, Great Smokey Mountains National Park.

Nearly 130 yrs old and still working.

 

We got there early before the crowds arrived and shared the solace with two other shooters.

 

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

A nice litte place to stop on the way to Cherokee, NC. Not very hard to get to.

 

Near Cherokee, NC

Great Smoky Mountains

 

~Explored!~

An old grist mill inside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park that was built in the late 1800's and is still operational today. For a video guide visit: www.hdcarolina.com/episode/mingus-mill

 

Ladder that was used to observe the elevated wooden sluice.

Mingus Mill Raceway

Mingus Mill

Great Smoky Mountains National Park near Cherokee, NC

 

This is part of the long raceway that feeds Mingus Mill. It is a nice walk through the woods.

  

Mingus Mill, in the Oconaluftee Valley of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina. The mill was built in 1866 in three months for a total cost of $600.

 

Water from the creek is diverted through a canal to this wooden flume that carries the water to the mill like an aqueduct.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

A person heading downstream along Mingus Creek would first see the low dam that funnels water from the creek into the millrace. Millraces direct water to the mill's waterwheel or, in this case, the turbine. Lined with rot-resistant hemlock, the four foot wide millrace is fitted with a water gate to regulate the flow.

 

The millrace channels water into the 200 foot long wooden flume that rides high atop a bridge of log cribbing. A water gate on the flume regulates flow, a "chunk rack" holds back leaves, twigs, and other debris, and a box in the bottom of the flume catches sand that could ruin the turbine.

 

As the ground drops below it, the flume eventually stands 22 feet high where it meets the mill's penstock. Fit next to the back wall of the mill, the penstock is a four foot square, vertical wooden shaft filled with water from the flume. The penstock's 22 feet of constant water pressure creates enough force to produce 11 horsepower, a bragging amount for its time and comparable to the power of a small lawn tractor.

An 1886 turbine mill that for over 50 years ground corn into meal and wheat into flour for the mountain community near Mingus creek. In place of a wooden water wheel, a small steel turbine provided power to run the mills stones and machinery.

Mingus Mill is a historic and active Mill, located just a short distance past the Oconaluftee Visitors center in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Both the mill itself and the land surrounding the mill are beautiful. The current mill was completed in 1886, and was one of the most advanced mills in the Smoky Mountains due to it’s use of a steel turbine design. The Mill was the largest in the Smoky Mountains, and served over 200 families. Some of the families would bring their corn and wheat for more than 15 miles to have it ground at the mill.

 

Info taken from blueridgemountainlife.com/mingus-mill/ where much more can be read concerning this wonderful history.

Overflow from flume going to mingus mill GSMNP

It was our 5th day in the park. We had to go over the mountain to take the 4 hours scenic train from Bryson City, NC. We went over in the morning do see Mingus Mill and some other stuff. We were on the dark side of the mountains until we got about 3/4 of the way up. The sun was coming up behind the mountain. When we finally hit the sunshine I think it was the most beautiful scene I had ever seen. The colors just ahead of us were incredible. This was exactly how it looked as I've done almost nothing to process the shot.

 

Superstorm Sandy note: There's 2 feet of snow on the very spot less than a week after this shot was taken.

Part of the water delivery system used to turn the grinding stone at Mingus Mill, North Carolina.

Water trough at the Mingus Mill in North Carolina

Mingus Mill

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

North Carolina

Holga 120N

Ilford XP2 Super 400

The Mingus Mill is an operational, historic grist mill located near the Oconaluftee Visitor Center in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, NC. The mill was constructed in 1886, and is today operated by the park service as a historical attraction (you can even buy cornmeal inside). There was plenty of water rushing to the mill this past weekend, after several days of sometimes-heavy rain in the park. This shot was taken just after the rain stopped, and the lingering wetness really helped bring out some good color in the trees surrounding the mill. We had several very wet days in the area, and my camera suffered for it (more details to come later). I've realized lately that I've been doing more vertical compositions. In the past, almost all my shots were horizontal, but recently vertical shots have really been sticking out to me (maybe you can notice this in my photostream...).

 

If you're interested, you can visit, like, and share my Facebook page at:

 

www.facebook.com/pvarneyphotography

Mingus Mill, in the Great Smoky Mountains

This is a quick process while on the road, converted from RAW to JPEG and adjusted on my 4.7 inch cell phone screen. I will probably rework this one at home on my PC and replace it.

Entrance to Mingus Mill on a snowy day. The rock grinding wheels are turned by water power from the adjacent creek. Cornmeal was produced, and may be still?

A half-mile north of the Oconaluftee Visitor Center is Mingus Mill, just inside Smokey Mountains National Park. The mill was built in 1886 and uses a water-powered turbine instead of a water wheel to power all of the machinery in the building. The mill is located at its original site. Mingus Mill is a ‘must see’ for anyone who enjoy history and old mills and buildings.

 

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Built in 1886, this historic grist mill uses a water-powered turbine instead of a water wheel to power all of the machinery in the building. I so love these old historic rustic cabins and this one is at the top of my list.

Located in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park, Mingus Mill uses water flow from the adjacent creek to turn the stone grinding wheels for grinding corn into meal. Very interesting to see, especially on a cold, snowy day with icicles drooping from the water flume.

As one of the few working mills in the GSMNP, Mingus Mill offers a glimpse back in time to what life was like in the 1800s. The fall colors added the perfect touch. If you get a chance check out my blog at shafferphotography.wordpress.com

This is a quick process while on the road, converted from RAW to JPEG and adjusted on my 4.7 inch cell phone screen. I will probably rework this one at home on my PC and replace it.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, October 2012.

Pentax K20d with Sigma 10-20mm, Pentax 18-55mm, and Sigma 70-300mm.

 

Copyright Justin Bower, all rights reserved. No use or reposting to blogs or other media without expressed permission.

This image was taken at the upper end of the sluice way on Mingus Creek. The trail runs for approximately 1.5 miles into the high country.

 

Mingus Mill is located off US 441 just outside of Cherokee, NC in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

It is a turbine mill vs. a water wheel powered mill. The water from the sluice fills a hollow column approximagely 4" square and 12-15 ft. tall. The pressure from this column of water is sufficient to drive the turbine and generate 11 hp.

The mill is still operational on a daily basis and sells products to the public.

   

If you are interested in licensing any of my images, please feel free to contact me via email.

 

TECHNICAL INFORMATION

Camera: Canon EOS 5D

Exposure: 0.6 sec at f/16, ISO 100

Lens: 21 mm

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