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Sylamore Area is Norfork, Calico Rock, Allison, Fifty Six, Sylamore National Forest, White River, North Fork River, Norfork Lake, Sylamore Creek National Scenic River Corridor, Leatherwood Wilderness Area

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Blanchard Springs Caverns Recreation Complex
in the Sylamore Creek National Scenic River Corridor

Mitchell Grist Mill Site

Blanchard Springs Caverns - Historic Mitchell Grist Mill Site

Photo 1 - Blanchard Springs Caverns - Historic Mitchell Grist Mill Site

Sometime in the 1880s John Blanchard built an undershot grist mill in the
Blanchard Spring Creek. The dam is what supplied the power for running
the mill. Water drops over the top into a collection box which created
enough pressure to operate both undershot and overshot water wheels.
In the mid 1940s the CCC restored the dam and part of the mill structure.
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Blanchard Springs Caverns - Historic Mitchell Grist Mill Site

Photo 2 - Blanchard Springs Caverns - Historic Mitchell Grist Mill Site

A beautiful accessible wood walkway runs from the parking lot all the way
to Mitchell Mill and Mirror Lake. In April the surrounding woods are filled
with dogwood and redbud blooms. And fall foliage is always pretty here.
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Blanchard Springs Caverns - Historic Mitchell Grist Mill Site

Photo 3 - Blanchard Springs Caverns - Historic Mitchell Grist Mill Site

The observation deck extending off the boardwalk looks down on the
old mill site. The deck also makes a good place to just enjoy a look into
the forest. As you look down on the mill (shown below) think about the
amount of work it must have required to to haul crops in and out of this
hollow with it's steep sides. While it stand all alone today, this spot was
at one time a major area activity center.
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Blanchard Springs Caverns - Historic Mitchell Grist Mill Site

Photo 4 - Blanchard Springs Caverns - Historic Mitchell Grist Mill Site

After John Blanchard passed away in 1914 Steve Mitchell built this mill.
We used a winter photograph so that the waterfall could be seen through
the tree branches. Mitchell's mill used an overshot water wheel, that is,
the water fell onto the top of the wheel. A long wooden trough ran from the
collection box at the dam all the way down to the mill.
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