Scenic USA - Mississippi

Sciple's Water Mill Opry

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Sciple's Water Mill Opry -  DeKalb County, Mississippi

Photos by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA Artist Website

     Sciples MillOutside DeKalb, in a very rural part of Kemper County, you'll find one of the few remaining water-powered grist mills (slideshow) in the country that operates for a profit. The 220 year old mill has seen seven generations of the Sciple family, and the 72 year old Ed Sciple continues to operate the 1600 pound grinding stones, offering corn meal, grits, whole-wheat flour and fish fry mix. Just outside the mill entrance, when Ed is not around, customers can pick up any of these products and leave their money in the honor box.
     Aside from a little down time from flash floods and a tornado, the mill has been operating continuously. Volunteers helped out when a tornado struck, putting the old mill back together using some of the original lumber. Sciples Mill Honor BoxAfter a flood, an extra effort was put into the Water Mill Opry across the street, drying it out, getting it ready for Saturday night. Here at the Opry, it's standing room only by seven o'clock every Saturday night. The old converted store comes alive with Ed Sciple's band (video), playing gospel and country music. Once the band warms up, the well polished dance floor sees plenty of boot scootin’ and steppin’. With a five dollar admission or a plate full of desserts, people from all over Mississippi head to Sciple's Mill to enjoy the Opry. The easy going Ed Sciple has only a few rules for his extended family; one - no alcohol, and two - no profanity. In today's world of cookie cutter businesses Sciple's Mill and Water Mill Opry offer a refreshing token from the past.

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