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Picturing the Past 96: First corn mill

Posted Tuesday, January 18, 2011, at 11:24 AM

The site of Bedford County's first corn mill, on Garrison Fork of Duck River near Wartrace. (Photo provided by Garland King)
Some areas of Bedford County which are now more or less empty fields were once thriving areas full of people living and doing business.

Here's an example.

The rocks at right in the above photo, taken near Wartrace, are what remain of one of the county's first settled areas.

A corn mill operated at this site alongside the Garrison Fork of Duck River near Wartrace, according to Garland King of Shelbyville, a descendant of the mill's operator, John King.

John King would have been in his late 30s at the time, according to a short biography prepared by the late Gladys Farris and by Tim and Helen Marsh and brought by the T-G last week by Garland King.

The Kings, originally from North Carolina, came to the Wartace area from Davidson County in 1806 where they built a "rude log hut" to which they moved in 1807.

These stones were dragged from the Cumberland Mountains to where Garrison Mill stood and used to construct the county's first corn mill.

John King persuaded his brother, the Rev. Samuel King, to come to Wartrace. Rev. King co-founded the Cumberland Presbyterian Church near Nashville on Feb. 4, 1810.

One wonders if the primitive living conditions took a toll on John King, who died of typhoid fever on Aug. 18, 1811.

It's interesting to see areas where what look like piles of rocks were actually something much more. I imagine those of us familiar with Bedford County can think of several similar areas.

Picturing the Past is featured each Tuesday in this blog. Reader contributions are welcome.

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Well Im going Trout fishing tomorrow.they release them below the dam in town.If they can't make it up from Flintville for the snow I guess I'll go to the old mill in Normandy. A BAD DAY OF FISHING IS BETTER THAN A GOOD DAY AT WORK !!!!!!!!!!!

-- Posted by kings11 on Thu, Jan 20, 2011, at 2:16 PM

I once had an experience somewhat akin to yours, leeiii, except that in looking back I believe the fish was playing with me rather than the other way around. I would almost lay odds that you or some of the other old timers on this blog have seen the very fish that I am referring to. Around 1960 I guess, there was about a half dozen or so fish in the mill pond up at Ledford Mill and one of them was a lunker if there ever was one. But the water was so clear that I never could get any of them to hit a plug, and I never tried any kind of live bait.

-- Posted by ilikeoldsongs on Thu, Jan 20, 2011, at 12:52 PM

I have never claimed to be a fisherman but I can remember one time that I went fishing with my Step-Father in-law up on the Garrison. I was fishing in what we would call a tidal pool if we had been at the ocean. I was fishing with a worm trying to catch a bass that I could see in the water. I was just playing with the bass, trying to get it to bite my hook with the worm on it. To make a long story short the bass finally bit the worm baited hook and I caught the only bass that I ever caught in my life. It was about a pound or pound and a quarter.

-- Posted by leeiii on Thu, Jan 20, 2011, at 9:48 AM

All us ole King Boys can catch fish any day.

-- Posted by kings11 on Wed, Jan 19, 2011, at 9:31 PM

I wonder if those two fellas caught any fish, that day.

-- Posted by ilikeoldsongs on Wed, Jan 19, 2011, at 1:37 PM

The old Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Bell Buckle is a wonderful old church; it was built before the roads so the back of the Church faces the road. I can't recall when the church was built, or if it was built as the Cumberland Presbyterian Church first or by another denomination. Another interesting fact about the church is that the doors are behind the alter, so everyone can see when someone was late for church. I don't know if that was by design.

-- Posted by Mtalley on Wed, Jan 19, 2011, at 8:32 AM

I'm not Cumberland Presbyterian, but I maintain a few contacts in that denomination's historical circles. Thought it might be useful to link their "birthplace shrine" web page, since Rev. Samuel King is mentioned in various markers, etc. there:


-- Posted by razyn on Tue, Jan 18, 2011, at 1:23 PM

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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.