Saturday, August 28, 2010

Reader Recon: Mill Ruins on Piney Creek

The EIC Crew got a thrill this past week when, to our great delight, a reader e-mailed us photos of the ruins of one of the old water mills located on Piney Creek. The mill in the photos is located near the old Gorby Community near where the old Olive Branch School once stood. Also near the site, two churches once stood...A Baptist Church and a Methodist Church. None of the buildings of the old community still stand. These awesome photos are of some of the only remaining structures showing a community existed at the site!

We are so grateful to the DeLoach Family for taking time to get out and bloodhound a bit. The photos they took of the site are wonderful and it is apparent they also took time to find interesting features to document for us. The EIC Crew has been invited to the Gorby area to visit this amazing site and will be visiting there in the near future equipped with our own cameras

An article by Ruth Biggs Mason that appeared in the January 1987 issue of the Izard County Historian appears to mention this mill site, one among many along Piney Creek:

"There was another mill about a mile downstream from the “Old Water Mill”. It was between the Palestine Cemetery and where the following were located: the Baptist Church, the Olive Branch Methodist Church, and the Olive Branch School. My uncle, Alex Gillihan told me that part of the old dam was there when he was a young boy. He, Albert Mason, Ambrose Woods and Bill Gillihan went swimming there. He said there were boards off and they would shoot through with the water and go splashing below - having a great old time as boys would do. There was a swinging foot bridge at the Palestine Church and another swinging bridge where the OliveBranch School and Olive Branch Methodist Church were located."

The article also tells us that one Millwright whose mill was often washed downstream by seasonal floods would always rebuild his mill at the location the waterwheel ended up after the flood waters receded.

Reader participation like this is very welcome and we are always excited to hear about exciting finds like this!

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