1) The Glade Creek Grist Mill at Babcock State Park is one of the most photographed sights in West Virginia. You’ll find pictures of the mill on calendars and postcards, in magazines and travel brochures. The grist mill is a great ambassador of travel and tourism for southern West Virginia. Indeed more than 200,000 people visit Babcock every year.
|Babcock State Park|
2) The grist mill at Babcock is really three mills in one, which were salvaged from around the State. The Stoney Creek Grist Mill, dating back to the 1890s, near Campbelltown in Pocahontas County and the Onego Grist Mill near Seneca Rocks in Pendleton County supplied the main building and stone floor. The giant overshot water wheel was salvaged from the Spring Run Grist Mill near Petersburg in Grant County after the remainder of the mill was destroyed by fire. Portions of each mill were disassembled piece-by-piece and reassembled on Glade Creek in Babcock. The reconstruction was completed in 1976.
|Stoney Creek Mill|
|Onego Grist Mill|
As mentioned in the Babcock State Park Brochure, the mill is a “living monument to the over 500 mills which thrived in West Virginia at the turn of the century.” It replaces a mill which “once ground grain on Glade Creek long before Babcock became a state park. Known as Cooper's Mill, it stood on the present location of the park's administration building parking lot” http://www.babcocksp.com/gristmill.html
4) The mill is fully operational and even has two “different sets of stones . . . the heavier (1200 lbs) for grinding wheat, and the other (1000 lbs) for grinding corn and buckwheat” (John Northeimer). Visitors can purchase freshly ground yellow corn, white corn, buckwheat, and prairie wheat prepared right at the mill.
|Grist Mill in Summer|
5) The best times of the year to photograph the mill are May and October. About the third weekend in May the Catawba Rhododendron reach their peak and provide beautiful foreground for the mill. Gorgeous autumn foliage peaks at Babcock on average around the middle of October—from the 15th to the 18th. This is around the same time that Bridge Day is scheduled.
Grist Mill in Autumn
For more about exploring Babcock see my new book at this link Exploring the Wilds of West Virginia.