-Wheels that keep on turning-
By Cory L. Higgs
Sylvia Goad, 92, of Conners Grove, recalled an old mill just up the road from another famous mill, Mabry Mill. Goad remembers playing with her pal, Meadie Hubbard, in the creek, and Goad said the pair rode on the wheel as it turned. A man named Top Boyd built the mill and sold it to the Hubbard family, Goad said. Goad recalled one of Hubbard’s daughters, Hattie Hubbard, who would grind corn from the community in exchange for a gallon of the mill. Goad said people would throw a sack of corn on their shoulders and carry it to the mill from far and wide. Nothing remains of the Hubbard mill today, but it was located the intersection of the Blue Ridge Parkway and Woodberry Road in Meadows of Dan. A contributed picture of Thomas Henry Belcher standing on top of the mill’s wheel was taken in the early 1950s. The mill was constructed in the late 1800s, according to Goad. Pictured is Goad with her parents Pose and Lilly Hubbard.
The Cockram Mill also is said to be among the forgotten mills, but it is said to have predated Mabry Mill by several years. Cockram Mill was built around 1864; Mabry was constructed around the turn of the 20th century. The mill served as a tourist attraction and boasted a sizable riverboat in the 60s and 70s. The dam that supplied the mill’s water supply broke and left the mill dry, leading to the demise of the riverboat. The inside of the mill remains, and is highly sophisticated and well preserved. This mill has always been a special place for me; it’s so unique and a real hidden gem. Ann and Ron Cockram own the mill, in conjunction with other family, and can usually be found there giving tours or enjoying the scenery. Ron enjoys joking around and Ann is a hugger.
In their heyday, mills were used to grind grains and corn for supplies and feed; this area was littered with mills. Essentially, a mill seemed to pop up anywhere there was a steady stream. Large stones pulverized grain into various textures, and some people made their money from grinding grain for people.
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