Hagood Mill sits on beautiful 50 acres. It’s a delightful and fun location to visit. The site’s calendar is rich with various events: living history, musical performances, craft shows traditional art etc. Although restored in 1970, the 20ft diameter wooden wheel still uses original components. You can observe the mill in action on the 3rd Saturday of every month and purchase freshly ground grain from its lovely gift shop.
The gristmill was rebuilt by James Earle Hagood in 1845. It operated commercially until 1966. Over the years the mill was a gathering center for locals to meet, catch up and discuss current events. The grounds have been the property of Pickens County since 1971, it was added to the National Register of Historic Sites in 1972.
I wandered through restored log cabins observing period furniture. One cabin dates back to 1791, another to 1925. I walked the short nature trail on the property’s perimeter that starts/ends near a moonshine still. The path is believed to be a segment of the Buncombe trail, an old Indian path. I noticed a lot of activity in the blacksmith shop. I was amazed to see that the shop is still a working shop with all necessary tools. A Blacksmithing 102 class was being taught. I was allowed to videotape a segment of it.
After the Blacksmith shop, I made my way to the museum. I attended an interesting narrated light show about Petroglyphs. Discovered in 2003, the rock carvings are believed to be prehistoric Native American. They were found on an outcropping adjacent to the foot path. The rock formation is preserved inside the museum building. The museum displays other petroglyphs from the surrounding area as well as Indian artifacts and other interesting historical facts of the area. I very much enjoyed my visit and look forward to stop by during one of their festivals. In the meantime, I will enjoy locally ground Basmati Rice Grits and Oat Meal.
The mill is currently managed by the non-profit Hagood Mill Foundation. Funding from the county only covers about 40% of its operating budget. The site relies on ticket and gift shop sales, grants and donations to cover the rest. Support them if you can and make sure to purchase freshly ground grits, cornmeal, flour and various other items from their shop.
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