The Pigeon Forge Old Mill is visited by thousands of Pigeon Forge’s vacationers each year, many of which visit this historical destination annually. The Old Mill is located in The Old Mill Square, where you will also find The Old Mill General Store, Pigeon River Pottery, Farmhouse Kitchen, Creamery, Candy Kitchen and Sassafras, a unique jewelry and accessories boutique. Many visitors flock to one of Pigeon Forge’s most historical spots, and leave not knowing some key parts of it’s history, so we’ve decided to give you all the details:
1.The Old Mill was built by the same man from which Pigeon Forge got its name.
The Old Mill was built in 1830 by Issac Love and his sons. Earlier in his life, in 1817, Issac built an iron forge where he turned his ore into bar iron. Love mined his own ore and transported it to the forge by ox-drawn wagons. The forge he built is from which Pigeon Forge got part of its name. Thirteen years later he built the same Old Mill that stands today right next to it.
2. It is featured on the National Register of Historic Places.
The National Register of Historic Places is the United States list of historical places and objects that are awarded worthy of preservation. It is a great honor for The Old Mill to be put on this official list. Because of this recognition, non-working parts of the mill are still intact and available to see during the tour, like old wall-modeled telephones. Many generations to come will be able to see all of the great historic parts of the mill in the future, because of this national allowance of preservation.
3. The Old Mill once made army uniforms for war volunteers.
The mill and iron forge were sold to John Sevier Trotter in 1849, a little over a decade before the Civil War. During the war Trotter, like many East Tennesseans, was a Union supporter. Because he wanted to help out with the Union efforts, Trotter installed looms in the mill on the second floor to provide uniforms for nearby Union volunteer soldiers.
4. There was a period of time when the Old Mill produced electricity.
After the war, the Pigeon Forge Old Mill was given a new 60 rpm, 30 horsepower wooden wheel and a new sawmill, then sold by Trotter to A.T. Householder. Rather than just grinding grains, the Pigeon Forge Mill was given a generator in the 1900s, to also produce power to residents nearby. It continued to produce electricity until 1935.
5. It is home to Pigeon Forge’s first moonshine distillery.
In 2014, the historic mill added another “first” addition to its property by building Pigeon Forge’s first moonshine distillery, The Old Forge Distillery. The moonshine distillery also gets its name from the original iron forge that was located next to the Old Mill.
6. It is still grinding grains today.
The Pigeon Forge Old Mill is still grinding grains today. In fact, it has cornmeal, flour, grits, oats, pancake mixes and other specialty mixes available for purchase. You will also find that these same items are used in both of the The Old Mill restaurants on the property. You can also find other homemade products available such as jellies, candy, chocolate and baked goods.
To learn more about all of the fun things to do in Pigeon Forge and some of its other must-see local attractions, click here.