Sometimes you stumble across a gem right in your own backyard. After living here for many years, somehow we had never heard of Falls Mill. While searching for some fun, new things to do with company that we had coming to visit, Laci and I simply googled “things to do near me,” and Wa-la! Falls Mill and Museum popped up, and it looked like it may be worth the short drive over to Belvidere, Tn.
So once our visitors arrived, we came up with a great game plan:
- Stop at the Swiss Pantry, also in Belvidere and another must go place, for Doughnut Saturday. Any day that starts with some homemade doughnuts is a good day, right?
- With bellies full, head on over to the mill.
So after woofing down way more doughnuts than we will ever admit to, we headed to our next stop.
Upon arrival we immediately could hear the gentle roar of the upper falls, so we followed the sound to a small overlook. We were mesmerized at the picturesque beauty and tranquility surrounding us. After taking the sights and sounds in for several minutes, we ventured on over to the mill.
Built in 1873 and originally used as a cotton and woolen factory, the mill was subsequently converted for use as a cotton gin, and later a woodworking shop. The three story, brick faced mill is a treasure trove of history and even has cornmeal, multi-grain pancake mix, and stone ground grits available for purchase.
Inside we started by watching a short video about the amazing history of the property. The owners were extremely kind and happy to answer any questions we had, making us feel welcome and comfortable as we took a self guided tour of each floor, viewing a large assortment of fascinating period machinery, including our favorite, an old dog driven butter churn! I don’t think we have ever owned a dog that would have been cooperative with such a thing, but maybe it worked for somebody! And be sure you don’t miss the third floor, where there is still some graffiti written on the walls from those who actually worked there long ago.
After browsing through the mill itself, we then took the short stroll down to see the lower falls. With the massive 32 ft waterwheel (one of the largest still in use in the country) as the backdrop, this was truly an amazing view. It almost doesn’t look real, it’s like you are looking at a postcard! Words can’t describe it, but trust me, it is stunning. Of course there were seemingly a thousand photo ops, some great memories shared with friends, and smiles all around. Our little adventure was indeed a huge success! In fact, we plan to return again in the Fall, and we just might bring a little picnic lunch to enjoy.
If interested, there is a bed and breakfast on site as well. It is a cozy little 1895 cabin, fully furnished, and just perfect for getting away from it all.
There is also a fully restored old schoolhouse on the property. It isn’t included in the normal tour, but if you nicely ask the owners, I bet they will show it to you!
Falls Mill and Museum is open to the public for tours from 9am – 4pm Thursday-Saturday from April through November.
Admission to tour the mill is only $5 for adults, $4 for senior citizens, military, and students, and $3 for kids over five. There is no charge if you only want to view the falls, but we highly recommend the tour of the mill, it is worth every penny, and it all goes towards keeping this beautiful place operating and open for all to enjoy.
This is absolutely on our “must do” list for the area, and it is only about a 20 minute drive from Tims Ford Lake. So get out there and explore, and we hope to see you in our neck of the woods soon!
And for more fun things to do in the area check out our other blog posts on the Jack Daniel Distillery, Short Springs State Natural Area, and the Beechcraft Heritage Museum.
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