Scenic USA - West Virginia

Cook's Old Mill

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Cook's Old Mill - Greenville, West Virginia

Photos by Amanda Haddox
Amanda Haddox Photography

     After a difficult climb over the Allegheny Mountains with all their worldly possessions, Valentine and Susanna Cook settled in a fertile valley of present day West Virginia. Still considered Indian territory, it wasn't long before these fertile bottom lands were planted, Cook's Fort was erected, and the need for a convenient grist mill became evident.
     Looking back over this part of Monroe County's early history, the town of Centerville (now Greenville) was established, the Indian Creek Post Office was in place and the Cook family hired James Humphreys to update their milling operation with a replacement mill by the mid 19th century. Driven by a water wheel, Cooks Mill Log Cabin mill machinery (including hoppers, shoes, elevators, and bolters) were most likely built on the site. By the early 1900s, the wooden dam was replaced with concrete and reinforced with hundreds of used horseshoes from the local smithy.
      During the mid 1950s, small businesses found it difficult to compete with large conglomerates. During this period the old Cook's Mill changed ownership frequently, until converted into a furniture store. Luckily for all grist mill aficionados, Jim and Nan Wells bought the building and restored it as a mill, using salvaged milling machinery. With the help of the West Virginia Department of Culture and History, an old forge building and log cabin were added to the property. Today, proud owners Fred and Barbara Ziegler continue with refurbishment and upkeep of the Cook's Old Mill, the miller's home (their residence) and out-buildings. Located on Route 122, just west of Greenville, the Zieglers look at all the hard work at the mill as just a labor of love.

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