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3 Things You May Not Know About the John P. Cable Mill in Cades Cove

John P Cable Mill in Cades Cove
Experience Cades Cove - May 28, 2024

One of the things Cades Cove is most known for is the fascinating historical structures that showcase what life was like for early settlers. One of these structures is the John P. Cable Mill, which dates back to the late 1800s. You can find the Cable Mill in Cades Cove about halfway along the loop near the Cades Cove Visitor Center. Here are a few interesting things you may not know about the John P. Cable Mill in Cades Cove:

1. The John P. Cable Mill Was Constructed in 1867 with a Unique Design

In the 1800s, grist mills were vital to local economies because they could grind grains into flour or meal faster than farmers could do themselves. The Cable Mill in Cades Cove was constructed by John P. Cable in 1867. The design of the grist mill was simple but effective. John P. Cable was the only person in Cades Cove who used an overshot water wheel, which uses gravity as a vertical force on the water as it travels from the top of the wheel to the bottom. The mill was powered by Mill Creek, and a connecting channel was also dug to Forge Creek so the mill could use both streams when water levels were low.

2. The Cable Mill Had More Than One Purpose

Cable Mill water wheel

The John P. Cable Mill in Cades Cove was a multi-purpose mill. Its primary purpose as a grist mill was to grind grains into flour and meal. The water wheel was also used to power a sawmill. This allowed people to switch from logs to lumber, revolutionizing the way homes were built in Cades Cove. An example of a frame house that was made from lumber is the Gregg-Cable House. This house was built in 1879 and is the first and only remaining all-frame house in Cades Cove. In addition to a grist mill and sawmill, the Cable Mill was also a social gathering place. Families often looked forward to “mill days,” as this was a time when they could see friends and build business relationships with other members of the town.

3. The Cable Mill Still Operates Today

You can visit the John P. Cable Mill in Cades Cove during your drive along the Cades Cove Loop Road. The mill is still in operation today and runs daily from March to October and on weekends in November. Depending on when you visit, you may get to explore both the exterior and interior of this historical structure to see it in action as it grinds grain into a fine meal. You can ask the operator questions about the mill, how it works, and its historical significance. You may even have the chance to purchase some freshly ground cornmeal to take home as a unique souvenir!

More Historical Structures to See in Cades Cove

elijah oliver place in cades cove tn

The John P. Cable Mill in Cades Cove is a fascinating piece of history to explore. If you want to learn more about early life in the cove, make sure you check out these 4 interesting historical structures in Cades Cove during your visit!

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