Mingus Mill, a still-functioning turbine mill, was built in 1886. The mill is located just off Route 441 inside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It's on the right if you are going from Gatlinburg, TN to Cherokee, NC, just before leaving the park and entering Cherokee. The mill is on the left just past the southern-most entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Oconaluftee Visitors Center, and the Mountain Farm Museum as you head toward Gatlinburg from Cherokee. It is easily missed if you are not watching for the signs to the entrance.

For those who are into history, especially historical buildings, the mill is definitely worth the stop. The Mingus family, who owned the mill until the 1930s, paid millwright Sion Thomas Early $600 to build the mill. Construction took three months and was completed in 1886. At that time, Mingus Mill was the largest and most advanced mill in or around the Smokies, it has a 200-foot-long wooden flume which funnels water from a creek to the mill's metal turbine. The mill served about 200 area families, some of whom had to travel as much as 15 miles to get there.

There is no charge to tour Mingus Mill.

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