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Replica mill a hit with visitors at Greensboro park

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Years of research and raising $145,000 in private funds is paying off for Greensboro Beautiful. Project Manager Gary Brown is thrilled to add a replica mill to David Caldwell Historic Park.

"It's been fun," Brown said. "Ten years ago we built the Caldwell Center up the hill and had digs that were successful."

It was discovered that a mill once stood on the property. So Brown and his team built one that resembled the one that was here in the 1780s.

"We wanted to build a replica of the mill and to show the kind of craftsmanship David Caldwell would have done in building a mill," Brown said.

And it's the attention to historical detail that makes it a hit with Bicentennial Garden and Caldwell Historic Park visitors.

"The old mill straddles Bicentennial Garden and Caldwell Park," City Beautiful Director Kathy Cates said. "It helps the garden and Caldwell Park become a destination for people to come and visit."

Park goers agree with Cates.

"Oh yes, unbelievable. To replicate exactly and the way the wood is configured is just perfect," one visitor said.

Another visitor added, "It fits in with the rest of the park and the craftsmanship... the wood pegs, not using spikes, and the wood is fitting together."

The mill even has one of the original millstones Greensboro Beautiful volunteers found in Wilmington. Brown hopes the replica mill will give visitors a better understanding of why the facilities were so common in 18th and 19th century North Carolina.

"That was another objective that we had to reflect upon," Brown said. "Their tremendous contribution to economy, the culture and the community and they were a gathering point for folks that brought their grain in."

Greensboro Beautiful is not done. They will add signs and an interactive map of Guilford County that will show the locations of former grist mills in the county.

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