My Grandfather used to swear by the breads made from stone ground meal. He made them sound so tasty that, to this day, the mention of stone ground meal tickles my palate tho' I've eaten nary a crumb.
In those days, I often pedaled my bicycle several miles down Route 669 to old Carrico Mill powered by the slow brown waters of Mountain Run - our special swimming-fishing hole straight out of the Saturday Evening Post and Golden Age of Illustration.
To me this Mill was a magic cathedral of wood and rafters worn by the ages and venerated for service to generations. Huge pole-like shafts and strong leather belts rose from the basement, as if from nowhere, reaching upward thru the ceiling connecting, somehow, to the water wheel and mill race outside.
If enough kids gathered, Mr. Bunch might invite us inside for a safety lecture and private show. Teasing our fears and building our hopes he would carefully pull levers to engage an enormous clutch that set peg-gears rotating, big as trucks, pushing torque from the rolling water wheel to the turning stone. The entire building would tremble and groan. Creaking to life. First shuddering, then quaking, finally grinding away in clouds of dust. Magically, one old Mill became one massive machine, and one blessed mystery for me.
The clatter was impressive and overpowering. But, it's all quiet now, except for the enduring rumble inside.
Title: © Cane Creek Mill. r1406-35
Series: Grist Mills
Location: Toecane Road at Loafers Glory
Mitchell County, North Carolina
Date: Friday 21 October 2005