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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Meadows of Dan in Floyd County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Challenges

 
 
Challenges Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 18, 2021
1. Challenges Marker
Inscription.  Although operating a mill was never easy, Ed Mabry faced special challenges. For one, the quantity of running water, which turned the overshot wheel and powered all the equipment in the mill, was barely adequate. To increase his supply, Mabry built separate flumes, or wooden troughs, to catch the runoff from two small streams. These fed into the single trough, called a race, directly in front of you.

In later years, Mabry's health failed and he stopped maintaining the water wheel and flumes. To furnish power for the mill, he bought an 8-horsepower engine and his wife Lizzie took over mill operations. By the time Ed Mabry died and Lizzie moved away in the mid-1930s, gristmills were becoming obsolete. Larger roller mills and national companies that marketed flour and other grain products in stores across America had replaced the local gristmill.

[photo caption]
Water to the mill came from two sources: one behind you to your left; the other to your right.
 
Erected by National Park Service, United States Department of the Interior.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these

Marker detail: Replacing the Water Wheel image. Click for full size.
2. Marker detail: Replacing the Water Wheel
Maintaining a mill required skill and labor. Replacing the water wheel was an especially taxing chore. This photo was taken during the 1942 restoration.
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topic lists: Industry & CommerceParks & Recreational AreasSettlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the Blue Ridge Parkway series list.
 
Location. 36° 45.067′ N, 80° 24.357′ W. Marker is near Meadows of Dan, Virginia, in Floyd County. Marker can be reached from Blue Ridge Parkway (at milepost 176.2), 0.2 miles south of Mabry Mill Road SE (Virginia Route 603), on the left when traveling south. Marker is located along the Mabry Mill interpretive trail. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 266 Mabry Mill Road SE, Meadows of Dan VA 24120, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Lumber Drying Rack (a few steps from this marker); Blacksmith Shop (a few steps from this marker); Mill Stones (a few steps from this marker); A Versatile Mill (a few steps from this marker); Homemade Soap Recipe (within shouting distance of this marker); Appalachian Houses (within shouting distance of this marker); Sorghum Making (within shouting distance of this marker); Bark Mill (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Meadows of Dan.
 
Related markers.
Marker detail: 1927 Sears, Roebuck and Co. Catalogue image. Click for full size.
3. Marker detail: 1927 Sears, Roebuck and Co. Catalogue
Thanks to local hardware stores and to rural mail delivery, engines could be bought in many sizes and from many sources. This illustration is from the 1927 Sears, Roebuck and Co. catalogue.
Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Mabry Mill
 
Also see . . .  Mabry Mill. The sights and sounds of Rural Appalachia fill the air at Mabry Mill during summer and fall. Ed Mabry built the mill where he and his wife Lizzy ground corn, sawed lumber, and did blacksmithing for three decades. The old mill, cultural demonstrations, and a decades-long tradition of Sunday afternoon music and dancing continue to draw visitors today. (Submitted on June 3, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Challenges Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 18, 2021
4. Challenges Marker
(looking south • mill race in background)
Challenges Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 18, 2021
5. Challenges Marker
(looking west • Mabry Mill and Blue Ridge Parkway in background)
Mabry Mill Flumes image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 18, 2021
6. Mabry Mill Flumes
(located uphill from mill race)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 4, 2021. It was originally submitted on June 3, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 57 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on June 3, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.

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Jun. 12, 2021