Mabry Mill – Just north of Roanoke on the Blue Ridge Parkway is one of Parkway’s most popular attractions, Mabry Mill. The mill is a water powered gristmill with a farm located at MP (mile post) 176 of the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia. The area featured stop offers a popular restaurant and includes a trail around the mill property. The trail is ADA and connects exhibits displaying what life in the rural Virginia mountains was like at the beginning of last century. The trail includes the gristmill, sawmill, blacksmith shop and a number of the farms out buildings.
Mabry Mill was built by Edwin Boston Mabry or EB Mabry after he returned to the mountains in 1903. The mill was at times a blacksmith and wheelwright shop, a sawmill and in 1905 it was operational as a gristmill. By 1910 the front part of the mill was added and included a lathe for turning wheel hubs, a tongue and groove lathe, a planer and a jig-saw. Between 1905 and 1914, EB Mabry bought adjacent tracts of land, mostly for the purpose of acquiring their water rights.
At the current time, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the interior of the mill itself is closed to visitors, but the grounds and the restaurant are open some limited service.
I first visited the mill in 1961 with my new 35mm camera and I’m still proud of the picture I took. Here is a comparison of the mill over sixty years.