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

Mill Rock Point

 

— Breaks Interstate Park —

 
Mill Rock Point Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, October 16, 2015
1. Mill Rock Point Marker
Inscription.  John W. Flannagan Reservoir on Pound River, the principal tributary to Russell Fork, is the major public water source for Dickenson, Buchanan, and portions of Wise County, Virginia, and services the present dominant industry, coal mining, for processing and mine supply. But before the rise of mining, Russell Fork and its tributaries were essential to the timber industry. Selective cutting of walnut occurred as early as 1885 for the Singer Sewing Machine Company. In 1909, however, the heyday of timbering commenced when the Yellow Poplar Lumber Company constructed a splashdam at Bartlick upstream from here. Primarily poplar, which reached enormous size in cove settings, but other hardwoods as well, were placed in the pond behind the splashdam where the water was allowed to rise and be released. In only this way could the timber be assured of passing through The Breaks to Elkhorn City, Kentucky, where the logs were made into rafts and floated to Catlettsburg, Kentucky, then transported to mill at Coal Grove, Ohio. Considerable effort was expended to blow up boulders in the gorge that could trap logs. In less than 10 years, the
Mill Rock Point Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, October 16, 2015
2. Mill Rock Point Marker
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virgin poplar was gone and splashdamming ceased. But even prior to timbering, the waters of the Russell Fork Basin served to power simple pounding mills and the more advanced grist mill, utilizing millstones such as were once quarried and fashioned here at Mill Rock Point. Authentic examples of stones recovered from this site are on display at the Visitors Center. And of course, the very headwater springs provided an essential ingredient—pure water—mixed with corn ground from those mills as the first step in moonshine production.
 
Erected by Breaks Interstate Park.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Horticulture & ForestryIndustry & Commerce. A significant historical year for this entry is 1885.
 
Location. 37° 16.98′ N, 82° 17.326′ W. Marker is near Breaks, Virginia, in Dickenson County. Marker can be reached from Virginia Route 80 one mile south of Breaks, on the right when traveling east. It is at the first landing on steps down to the overlook. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Breaks VA 24607, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Mill Rock Point Overlook (a few steps from this marker); The Crooked Road (within shouting distance of this marker); Formation Of The Breaks (approx. 0.3 miles away); Salt Kettle
The Russel Fork from Mill Rock Point Overlook image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, October 16, 2015
3. The Russel Fork from Mill Rock Point Overlook
(approx. half a mile away); Early Settlement (approx. half a mile away); The Name Breaks (approx. 0.8 miles away); Clinchfield Overlook (approx. 0.9 miles away); Known But to God (approx. 1.7 miles away in Kentucky). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Breaks.
 
More about this marker. This interpretative panel shows three photographs captioned “Stranded logs at Camp Branch,” “Bartlick Bridge,” and “Spalshdam at Bartlick after log release.” Acknowledgements include, “Narrative by Tony Scales, Geologist and Author of ‘The Breaks: Grand Canyon of the South’ made possible by a generous contribution from A.M. Smiley Ratliff and the Ratcliffe Foundation.” Photos: “The American Lumberman, 1910,” “Gerald DeLong,” and “Virginia Geological Commission, 1918.”
 
Also see . . .  Virginia Coal Heritage Trail. “In Dickenson County, the trail begins at the Breaks Interstate Park, better known as “the Grand Canyon of the South”. There you will view the Russell Fork River, with the railroad tracks nearby and the location of the old Domus Mine which was in operation many years ago. The Breaks Park has a Visitor’s Center Museum with a large collection of coal mining memorabilia. Also in Dickenson County, in the town of Haysi, you will be able to spend the night at the Red Caboose Inn, visit the Red Caboose Museum where you will find a large collection of railroad and coal mining items on display.” (Submitted on November 18, 2015.) 
 
Mill Rock Point Overlook image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, October 16, 2015
4. Mill Rock Point Overlook
Late Afternoon View of Russell Fork Gorge from Mill Rock Point Overlook image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, October 16, 2015
5. Late Afternoon View of Russell Fork Gorge from Mill Rock Point Overlook
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on November 18, 2015, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 264 times since then and 8 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on November 18, 2015, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.

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Apr. 15, 2021