From Sunday, July 21 through Friday, July 26, Sweetums and I drove 2,150 miles from Huntsville, Alabama, to Fort Worth, Texas, and back again. I am posting the stops in order of the trip. Most sites will be included in my upcoming Guide to Southern Oddities.
Last stop!!! This is the last recap from our trip to Texas. Thanks for following along. You scroll through older posts to see stops 1-19.
Stop No. 20: The Old Mill
3800 Lakeshore Drive, North Little Rock, Ark.
After having lunch at the All Aboard Diner in Little Rock, we decided to head to North Little Rock to see a picturesque mill I’d mentioned in one of my stories for It’s a Southern Thing. It’s known simply as the Old Mill and it was built to look like an 1880s grist mill. In reality, it was built in 1933. Its claim to fame is that it appears in the opening sequences of “Gone With the Wind.” The mill is located in T.R. Pugh Park, which was established in 1933 by Justin Matthews.
Interestingly, the mill was sculpted from concrete by artist Dionicio Rodriquez to simulate wood and iron. Visitors can go inside the mill, even up the stairs, and look around. It’s an amazing structure. But the sculptor didn’t stop there. He also sculpted tree-branch-entwined bridges, tree stumps, toadstools and other objects around the park.
The Old Mill’s Facebook page says: “Rodriguez, a sculptor and artist, was responsible for all the details of each piece of concrete work made to represent wood, iron or stone, as well as the designing of the foot bridges and rustic seats. Rodriguez’s secret techniques were so detailed and exacting that you can identify the species of trees in most of his work.”