A Mill By Any Other Name

A stroll in the December archives finds this image [click to enlarge] from early December, 2007. I had been manning a book table at the Chateau Morrisette Winery Wine Club members banquet (what a nice invitation, I met lots of nice folks and sold 50+ books).

Somebody asked if I’d seen the mill pond covered with ice. Soon as I left (in my fancy clothes) I headed a few miles west on the Parkway and came home with the shot you see above–one of my personal favorites of the thousands I’ve seen of the “most photographed place on the Blue Ridge Parkway: Mabry Mill.

By the way, google searches find this and similar images at Fragments from Floyd most often searching for “Mayberry Mill”–a logical misspelling since it’s only maybe 25 air miles from Andy Griffith’s Mt. Pilot (Pilot Mountain near Mt. Airy) and the fictional sleepy village by that name.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. Lovely picture. You should try and get out there when it’s covered with snow. It can be a little tricky getting out there after a nice snowfall, but well worth the effort!

  2. A nearly perfect photograph: quaint, private, peaceful. Reminds us of life in the past, perhaps they way it should be for the human species. Thanks.

  3. Nice! And I’ve seen a lot of Mabry mill photos. (Note from my retail sales days…..The best sales opportunities incorporated music, alcohol and people with money.) 🙂