Today I am celebrating my 100th blog post! To make this day extra special, I am posting photos from one of my favorite places: Mabry Mill on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Mabry Mill’s claim to fame is being the most photographed place on the Blue Ridge Parkway and some even say it is the most photographed place in the US.
At age twenty, Ed moved to Pulaski, Virginia, to work in the coal mines. He returned two years later with cash and something bigger and better than money—Mintoria Dehart Mabry, known as Lizzie. A man with big ideas needed a big wife. She stood five foot ten, wore a man’s size eight shoe, and needed nine yards of material to make a skirt. Ed and Lizzie married in 1891. He called her “Boss” and they were together almost forty years before he died.
Operating a mill, never an easy task, brought special challenges to the Mabry’s. They encountered problems that would have been overwhelming for most people—but not for Ed and Lizzie. He built the gristmill between 1905 and 1908.
Lizzie was anxious and ready to be the miller. She hadn’t gone to those mines and pumped those bellows just to be a good housewife. As a “modern woman,” she wanted to be the miller and by golly—she was. Customers brought white corn, stood on the mill platform, and poured shelled corn into a hopper that fed kernels between the rotating stones. Lizzie controlled the space between the stones with a lever to obtain a proper texture of meal or flour. Continue reading