One of the earliest settlements in this Northwest Georgia area sprang up around a gristmill. Dennis Mill was constructed on Rock Creek in present day Murray County around 1869 and was active for almost a hundred years. The Dennis community was named for Dennis Johnson, who was the mill operator and in later years the postmaster. The community grew to include a post office, a blacksmith shop, a cotton mill, and a sawmill.
– The mill building is two story, roughly 22′ x 60′ in size, and built with pine lumber using timber frame joinery. It has a 22′ x 50′ main floor, a 22′ x 10′ mezzanine, and a 22′ x 50′ upper floor.
– The mill has a 22′ overshot steel wheel at the right end of the building; the original wheel was wood with a steel axle/drive shaft.
– Two sets of grind stones are located on the mezzanine between the main and upper floors, one for corn and one for wheat. Census records indicate the mill processed 4,264 bushels of wheat along with 408,000 pounds of cornmeal one year. Dennis Mill continued to grind some meal until the early 1950’s.
– All of the gearing between the water wheel and the grind stones is intact but currently not operational. The grindstone housings and most of the related equipment is intact. The hoppers over the stones have been stolen. Hoists for lifting the grindstones are intact. A bolter reel hangs from the ceiling.
– A penstock, turbine and DC generator for electricity were added in the 1940’s.
– A long narrow ridge line separates the mill from the mill pond. This necessitated a rather lengthy mill race to convey water from the mill pond to the mill. A race was dug into the hillside from the dam along the back side of the ridge, then through a 20′ deep cut through the ridge and then along the front of the ridge to the mill. The race measured 8-10 feet wide and 6-8 feet deep at beginning but reached a depth of more than 20 feet where it cut through the ridge. A 4′ wide x 1′ deep wooden trough carried the water.
– There is quite a bit of writing on the walls, beams, and doors of the mill. Most appear to be tallys and associated names. One script on the wall near the bin where the meal and flour was bagged says “Do not spit on the floor“.
– A wall cabinet and one of the grind stone housings has “Cohutta Mills” stenciled on it. Was that an early name for the mill or was some of the equipment moved from another mill?
There are two cabins on the property available for vacation rental, the Falls View Cabin with three bedrooms and Emerson’s Cabin with two bedrooms. Click the Cabin Info tab above for more rates, availability, photos and descriptions for each cabin. The property is also available for special events such as weddings, family meetups, etc. Email us for event information.