Pinsteps. Ely's Mill in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee, USA
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Ely's Mill is a family-owned and operated historic site located in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee, USA. The mill was established in 1925 by Andrew Jefferson Ely, a Yale law school graduate, practising lawyer, and printer. Ely purchased a 30-acre tract of land to live a healthy life and preached against smoking, strong drinks, and various foods, advocating instead for fresh vegetables, honey, buttermilk, and lots of spring water.

Ely hired local artisans to build the mill and showroom to display their wares, initially called The Water Wheel Craft Shop. The mill featured weaving and local crafts and also made solid wood furniture, and sold antiques. The water wheel, which is almost 30 feet in diameter and 8 feet wide, powered the machinery in the Furniture Shop, including belt sanders, lathes, and planers, by a system of pulleys and belts.

As the mill grew, more buildings were added, including barns for livestock, sheds, chicken houses, a caretaker's home, a hammer mill to crush and mix feeds, and a blacksmith shop to repair tools and make parts. By the 1940s, Ely's Mill had grown to almost 20 buildings.

Today, Ely's Mill is a unique craft and antique shop that offers a glimpse into the history and culture of the early settlers in the region. Visitors can see the original mill equipment, furniture, and antiques, as well as learn about the life and beliefs of Andrew Jefferson Ely and his impact on the community.

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Evgeny Praisman
Cherokee Orchard Road Near Gatlinburg on May 17, 2021

Embark on an unforgettable adventure with a two-hour road trip to Roaring Fork, nestled in the heart of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Discover the rich history of the area as you explore preserved historic buildings, including the Ephraim Bales House, Alfred Reagan Tub Mill, and Ely's Mill. Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the area as you hike along the Trillium Gap and Grapeyard Ridge trails, taking in stunning vistas of the Roaring Fork stream and majestic waterfalls. With so much to explore and discover, this road trip is the perfect way to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and reconnect with nature.

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Evgeny Praisman (author)
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