One of the most beautiful Mills I have EVER visited!
This amazing and beautiful mill is on the campus of Berry College in Rome GA. It is breathtaking on its own, but rarely, very rarely the folks at the college will send a crew of mill repair specialists over to work on the mill then actually run it testing both the water drive system but also the milling equipment!
We were visiting the mill last month during our Grills & Mills workshop. Upon arrival I noticed that there was a crew there working on the mill with tall ladders all over the place. I was just sure that the photo opportunity was finished before it ever had a chance to start! I asked one of the workman when they thought that they would be done and was told simply “when we are done!” Great, a perfect location ruined! As I started back to the truck to tell the others the bad news the crew removed the ladders and screamed “clear out before she starts up”! Amazed, I turned around and sure enough, the water started flowing over the top.
I quickly shooed all of the workshop participants out to set up and grabbed my own gear and jumped to a good location. After a minute or so they unlocked the wheel and it started to turn. I watched them carry large bags of corn into the building and smiled as I realized that they planned to actually grind some corn mill also. All in all we spend about 2 hours there while the mill spilled water and churned out corn. To the right is an example of a small mill setup for grinding corn or wheat. This is not from the Berry Mill as it was much too dark and crowded for me to actually get a image of the mill grinding corn. I did however purchase a bag of the ground corn which I have at home in my pantry right now!
If you have never visited one of these mills you are really missing something….
It was an amazing day and one that I will remember the rest of my life. Later on I was told that the mill might be started and ran 1 day a year for testing and we were very lucky to be there to partake in its glory!
The Mill has a 46 foot wheel that is the tallest in the country. It has a gear ring inside to the outer wheel surface that engages with a shaft/gear at the bottom of the wheel to run the mill inside of the building!
As you can see the location of the mill is in a small beautiful valley filled to overflowing with majestic lush trees. This made photography very easy in the mid day sunlight but more importantly, allowed me to generate etherial, almost spooky images that are full of feeling! I was totally captivated!! I could have spent ALL day at this mill and been very happy about it!
For this location, except for the last image, I shot totally with my Leica M 240 system on the tripod using the following lenses:
Leica Wide Angle 28mm f/2.8 Elmarit-M ASPH
Leica Macro-Elmar-M 90 mm f/4
- Leica 50mm Summilux ASPH f/1.4
The last image above is a 6 image Infrared HDR shot with the amazing Fuji X100s with the Kolari Vision Dual Spectrum Conversion with the B+W 093 830 nm filter installed.
You could not have a better set of lenses for the subject matter and as you can see, they rendered the subject matter beautifully!
If you would like to visit this and many other mills, I have a GPX file here that you can download to your computer filled with GPS locations for over 300 mills in Eastern United States. It is on the right side menu in a box called DOWNLOADS. Simply click on the GPX directory there, then the mill file. It will prompt you for a destination. Once on your computer you can download software for your GPS unit which will put all of these destinations into your saved destinations allowing you to find them anytime you desire!