“Escape from the Daily Grind”-visit to Historic Yates Mill

I had read about Yates mill online and my primary motivation was to visit this historic site for the scope of photography. It is best to admit here that my quirkiness is at times taxing for my guy. He not only tolerates my novice projects but also fuels my enthusiasm with his own creative inputs. I guess that’s why a spouse is called your better half. They possess the higher level of patience and better sense to keep you on track!

So here we were driving, listening to some wonderful music, enjoying the warm summer sun when we decided to try our luck to check if the Yates mill tour was available. Little did we know that this visit would prove to be a window into the history of Raleigh.

This park is a 174-acre wildlife refuge and an environmental research center. They offer experiences that interpret and preserve the American agricultural heritage, environmental resources and history through educational programs, events and exhibits. [1]

The visitor center has a very informative display about the history of this Mill and that era in general.


Visitor center©thedeardiaryblog2016

Outside view of Yates mill -©thedeardiaryblog2016


Testing the display-©thedeardiaryblog2016

They explain how corn was milled in this mill and what techniques were used by interactive displays and videos. They also have lot of old time costumes for children to dress up and make this day memorable.

 Yates Mill is a fully restored, circa-1756 gristmill located in Raleigh, North Carolina. It is the centerpiece of Historic Yates Mill County Park, located in central Wake County. The mill is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is the only restored, operational automatic mill in North Carolina and one of just a few in the country. [2]

Yates Mill, one of the oldest buildings in Wake County, is the region’s only surviving operable gristmill. For nearly 200 years the water-powered mill produced lumber, milled corn and wheat, and carded wool.

The mill stood vacant for several years until Yates Mill Associates, Inc. began restoration efforts in 1988. The mill is an example of the Oliver Evans type of grist mill and has been restored to its state as of the mid-19th century. Both the corn and wheat grinding machinery have been restored. Several corn grindings have been held since the mill officially opened to the public on May 20, 2006. The mill is frequently open for historic tours and corn grinding is demonstrated on specific days. [3]

The scenic views from the mill are simply breathtaking that can be enjoyed from the rocking chairs on the patio.

Patio with lake view-©thedeardiaryblog2016


View from Yates Mill-©thedeardiaryblog2016

Stories about the mill and its cultural importance are recorded in the words of Mary Lea Simpkins.

Simpkins’ father, John Daniel Lea Sr., was the miller there from 1898 to its closing in 1953.

John Daniel Lea Sr.-©thedeardiaryblog2016

Simpkins often helped her father in the mill but mostly enjoyed a childhood spent playing in the mill’s attic and along the shores of the millpond.

Mary Lea Simpkins-©thedeardiaryblog2016

The tour was excellent with the guides in old time attires, for sometime we were transported back in time picturing how it must have been.




This place is worth a short trip to appreciate their technology at that time, apart from the beautiful location. They maintain this place by the ticket fare they generate by tours, so next time you looking for a place to spend a lazy afternoon go book a tour into history and enjoy the scenic beauty!

[1] http://www.wakegov.com/parks/yatesmill/Pages/default.aspx

[2] http://www.yatesmill.org/

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yates_Mill

One Comment Add yours

  1. I love historic places like Yates Mill!!! SUCH a cool spot!

    Liked by 1 person

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