Yesterday we visited the grist mill in Readyville. It has been an important part of this unincorporated town since it was first built back in 1812. Readyville and the surrounding countryside is truly charming. It is small town, rural America – southern style.
People here still talk about the Civil War which is understandable because it was fought here. There are battlefields nearby. When the Union Army came through his area in 1864 the mill was burned. And in 1869-70 it was rebuilt.
About five years ago a young energetic man named Tomm Brady acquired the mill and has set about to restore as much of it as possible while his energy and resources last. Tomm has done a wonderful job. The main mill building was probably one more winter away from collapsing into the Stones River, but thanks to his dogged hard work he has turned it into a showpiece of early American agricultural commerce.
Tomm demonstrates a device used to fill flour sacks. Incredibly the adjustable platform and associated mechanism would fill a flour sack within ounce or two of 50 pounds.
These two hoppers extend to the second floor where the various flours were contained in large bins prior to being sacked.
The first two floors of the mill are filled with machinery and bins. Also prominent are square shaped tubes running between floor, these tubes carry grain from one process to another. Some of the tubes employ an auger to move grain. These augers were handmade. One such auger is shown below.
Other wood tubes transported grain via small tin cups hand-crafted and then riveted to a cloth belt A bin of spare belts is shown next.
This mill stone is no longer used because the water turbine that provided power to the mill has fallen into disrepair.
In 1918 the water turbine under the mill was connected to a dynamo to generate electricity and began supplying power for electric light bulbs to the town of Readyville even before the much larger nearby city of Murfreesboro, TN had electric lights.
Next weekend the mill will start a new chapter in its nearly 200 year history by opening a restaurant. We plan to be there for their first pancake breakfast.
Tomorrow we are headed for a day trip to Opryland Hotel in Nashville.