I hadn’t originally planned on it but we might as well continue down the same walkway with todays photo. This is Kerr Mill. The photo was taken from just over the bridge featured in yesterday’s photo which was just around the curve from the leaves on the walkway photos of the day before. By now you should feel like you’ve been there.
I’ve photographed and posted photos of the mill before, but I don’t believe I’ve ever dived into the history of the site. Kerr Mill was built in 1823 and is located in Rowan County, NC in the small community of Millbridge. As a side note, Google Maps is off on its location of both the mill and the park by at least a mile or so.
For those interested, here’s some historical facts about the area courtesy of the Rowan County Parks and Recreation:
1762 – Millbridge community is settled.
1794 – Dr. Samuel McCorkle opened the Zion Parnassus Academy – First normal school in the United States – near Thyatira Church.
1823 – Joseph Kerr constructs Kerr Mill on his 1500 acre plantation located between Sills and Cathey’s Creeks.
1861-1865 – Dr. Samuel Kerr, son of Joseph Kerr, strongly supports the Confederacy and by the end of the war Dr. Kerr was destroyed financially.
1865-1872 – Kerr Mill operates on a small scale to serve the needs of the small group of tenant farmers who were working the run down and neglected fields of the Kerr Plantation.
1872 – James Samuel McCubbins purchases 593 acres, the Kerr Mansion, and the mill for $8,140.
1876 – James McCubbins operates Kerr Mill using an undershot wheel which was fed by a long mill race and canal.
1887 – McCubbins and his partner, John Harrison, complete retooling of Kerr Mill to a roller mill powered by a steam engine.
1895 – John W. Page acquires complete title to Kerr Mill.
1900 – Pleasant Owen Tatum purchases the mill from John Page and operates the mill until 1908.
1908 – James Wiseman Sloan purchases Kerr Mill for $3,000.
1925 – Kerr Mill is now powered by a Bessemer diesel engine.
1927 – James W. Sloan sells Kerr Mill to his nephew, James Andrew Sloan, for “one dollar and other valuable considerations.”
We here in America often consider 240+ years of history as being ancient but compared to other regions and nations of the world it is but a very small segment.
When they are dry the bricks of Kerr Mill have a low contrast but on this day they were wet and each individual brick was very distinct. I was lucky there was enough breeze to lift the wet flag to full extension.
That same breeze gave a nice chill to wet clothes.