Monday, November 26, 2012

Down By The Old Mill Stream…

During our back roads explorations of East Tennessee, we continue to discover some nifty historical sites…in this case, two old mills from the 19th Century.  Both are listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

This is the former Robinson Mill on Clear Branch Creek in Loudon County Tennessee.  As for the mill itself…I couldn’t determine just how old this structure is for sure, but a mill is still operating here after more than 160 years.  My research revealed that the original mill was built here ca. 1849…  The current Hoover’s business directory lists the company under ‘feed manufacturers’ and another listing I found stated that the company sells feed to both retail and wholesale customers.
J. W. Robinson was born in the area that is now Loudon County ca. 1829.  If I interpreted what I read correctly, J.W. served in the Union Army with the First Tennessee Regiment.  He was a millwright and a carpenter as well as a farmer who was renowned for operating one of the best flour mills in the area.  He served as a school commissioner and as a justice in Roane County.  Subsequently, he was appointed as one of the commissioners to structure and organize Loudon County. 
(Note: Loudon County was formed from fractions or segments of Blount, Roane and Monroe Counties) Mr. Robinson eventually helped organize and supervise the election that ratified creation of the new county.
This is the William J. Fowler House in Monroe County Tennessee.  It’s in a population center named Eve Mills which is located right at the intersection of Loudon Road and Eve Mill Road.  This farmstead is part of a much larger farm that was founded in 1824…which was known as the Fowler-Lenoir Farm.  Unless there has been a recent change, a branch of the LeNoir family may still make this house their home.

Note: Lenoir City is the largest city in Loudon County…which is just north of this location.
William J. Fowler Jr. served in the Tennessee State Legislature and he helped establish Tulogahler College.  I couldn’t find anything that told me what this college was all about but I did find a photo reference from 1884.  It looked quite primitive!  I also located a reference to Tulogahler High School on a map of the county, showing an historical location just down the road from the Fowler House.  You can check out the school photo at:
Yes…there is also an old mill as well.  It’s located just across Fork Creek from the Fowler home.  To view a panoramic photo of both properties, just go to  From what I could find, this mill was built in 1875.  It is no longer in use…but both the mill structure and the home are in beautiful condition!
Just click on any photo to enlarge it...
Thanks for stopping by for a brief glimpse into the history of East Tennessee.
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave


  1. I do not think anything built now lasts for 160 years.

  2. I saw your Mayfield Dairy cow and it brought back a nice memory. Several years ago as we were driving back from Columbus, Ohio on our way home to Atlanta we decided to make a stop – it was July and very warm. We saw an exit to go to Athens, TN and drove into town. That day there was a festival of some sort and Mayfield was giving free ice cream, I had some and went back for a refill – it was great – a nice stop.
    I really enjoyed your current post about historical old places as I like to find them in Georgia too.

  3. I love these type of buildings dear David and I love the pictures!!