Tucked away in the mountains of Northwest Arkansas, about 15 miles east of Rogers, is the War Eagle Grist Mill. This is a water powered mill and more information can be found at www.wareaglemill.com. After winding thru the mountains, we came to the mill and took the picture at the right. The mill is three stories with the grist mill itself on the first floor, a gift shop on the second floor, and a restuarant on the third floor. We participated at all three levels, watching the miller grind corn, browsing thru the gift shop, and then having lunch. As you can tell from the picture, it was a beautiful, cloudless day, with the temperature in the low 50's, a perfect day to visit such a historic site.
The mill itself looks very much like a Meadows. The miller told me that the original mill had been destroyed and that this one was found and rebuilt to take it's place. It has 30" stones. There is a fairly complex arrangement of lineshafts, pulleys, and belts connecting the mill to the water wheel. There is a clutch so that the mill can be stopped with the paddle wheel still turning. An electric powered gate cuts the water off from the wheel to stop it.
This is the first water powered mill that I have ever seen. I always had a hard time understanding how water could turn such a massive wheel and still have enough power to turn the mill too. Not any more. The mill is powered by the War Eagle Creek. Where the mill is located there is about a three foot high waterfall in the creek. Just before the waterfall, they had cut a channel the width of the paddle wheel and focused the water thru that channel to the wheel. Looking down at the wheel, it became obvious how much power was behind that running water.
There is an old one lane bridge that crosses War Eagle Creek. From the opposite side of the creek you can see the bridge, the creek, the waterfall, and the mill itself. The waterwheel is behind a wall, for safety reasons I guess, so you can't see it.
Well, just so that you can know for sure that I was there, here is a picture of me standing next to one of the old millstones that graces the entrance to the mill.