What is: Mabry Mill along the Blue Ridge Parkway. One of the most photographed and painted places along the Parkway.
What was:Ed Mabry (1867-1936) built the mill which was really 3 mills in one place. He and his wife Lizzy ground corn, sawed lumber, and did blacksmithing for three decades. By many accounts Lizzie was the better miller of the two. In 1903 he had returned to Floyd County, VA after working as a blacksmith in the coal fields of West Virginia.
It was first a blacksmith and wheelwright shop, then became a sawmill. By 1905 it was in operation as a gristmill, as well. People from as far away as eight miles were bringing their corn to be ground at the mill. The water power for the mill was limited which meant the milling took longer than many of the other local mills. However, that slow grinding also meant they did not scorch/burn the corn as it was milled and they had a reputation for some of the finer quality grinds and the best tasting cornmeal around. That resulted in loyal customers. Mabry bought adjacent tracts of land, mostly for the purpose of acquiring more water power to address the issue of water. The National Park Service acquired the Mabry Mill property in 1938 after Ed died and Lizzie moved away.