Mingus Mill is a historic grist mill located in The Great Smoky Mountain National Park. It was the largest grist mill in the Smokies.
Location and Hours of Mingus Mill
Mingus Mill is located a half-mile north of the Oconaluftee Visitor Center in Cherokee, on US 441. The street address is Mingus Mill Access Road, Ravensford, NC 28719.
Mingus Mill grounds are open daily. A miller is on site for demonstrations daily from 9am-5pm mid-March through mid-November, and Thanksgiving weekend.
During the winter months, the interior of the mill is closed to the public, but visitors are allowed to explore the paths and structures outside the mill.
History of Mingus Mill
Built in 1886 and rehabilitated in 1968 by the National Park Service, the mill now operates as a historical exhibit.
Dr. John Mingus contracted with Sion Thomas Early to build the mill. Mr. Early agreed to do the job in three months for a cost of $600. The mill remained in the Mingus-Floyd family until they sold it to the emerging National Park in 1930.
For over 50 years the mill ground corn into cornmeal and wheat into flour for the mountain community near Mingus Creek.
Mingus Mill was considered the crossroads of nearby communities in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Families would travel on Saturdays to get their corn milled, but they also would bring other goods to barter with others who were waiting for their turn at the mill.
Farmers brought their corn and wheat to the mill to be ground. The miller usually charged a toll of one-eighth of the grain that the customer brought in for milling.
This historic grist mill uses a water-powered turbine instead of a water wheel to power all of the machinery in the building.
On the second floor, the smut machine blew wheat grain free of debris, while the bolting chest separated ground wheat into grades by sifting it through fine to coarse bolts of cloth.
Cookbooks, lye soap, wheat flour, and corn meal can be purchased during operating hours.
Other Things To Do Near Mingus Mill
- Mingo Falls Waterfall
- Cherokee Indian Reservation
- Gatlinburg Skylift Park
- Harrah’s Cherokee Hotel and Casino
- Mountain Farm Museum
We really enjoyed our trip to Mingus Mill. It was very interesting to see the process, all the machines, and the water-powered turbine that runs them all!
There is a parking lot with restrooms and plenty to explore! We definitely recommend stopping at this historic sight when you are in the area!