Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee, United States, North America

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Cable Mill Historic Area

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

To get bread on the table, early residents of Cades Cove first had to mill their grains and corn. Above all other staples, corn was the most important. Every meal included food made from cornmeal, including corn bread, mush, hoecakes and spoon bread. Built in the early 1870s by John Cable, Cable Mill was once one of four or five water-powered gristmills to serve Cades Cove, which reached a peak population of about 700 residents by 1900.

Powered by Mill Creek, the waters of which were routed into the mill via a 235ft-long flume, Cable Mill features a classic overshot waterwheel. The other historic buildings surrounding the mill were brought from other locations in the park to create a living history museum. There’s a blacksmith shop, a barn, a smokehouse, a sorghum mill and a homestead, as well as the Cades Cove Visitor Center and shop – stop by to pick up a bag of corn ground on-site.

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