I love looking at this picture from Panoramio of Gilreath’s Mill. Seeing horses and old vintage cars using the same dirt roads is captivating for me. I who have so rarely seen either. What a busy and important hub of commerce and social exchange it appeared to be once. It is remarkable how fast things have changed since that moment was captured sometime in the 1930s.
We live completely different lives today it would seem. Almost everything in that photo is gone. All that we have to remind us that it was real is a two and one-half story building. Now cars whiz up and down Highway 101 beside the watermill. As they fly past at high speeds, I wonder if anyone still knows that this place exists. No one congregates here any longer. The watermill has long stopped grinding cornmeal and flour. A huge separation of more than time divides then from now. Even the very dirt around the building has been replaced by pavement. Even so, somehow this building has managed to remain.
Gilreath’s mill is historically significant for many reasons. The first written reference to Gilreath’s Mill is in the diary of Washington Taylor and was recorded on April 10, 1839. No one knows for sure when the mill was built, but most believe it was constructed by 1814. That would put Gilreath’s Mill at over 200 years old. Gilreath’s Mill is one of the very last water-powered mills left in Greenville County as well. Here at this watermill, large quantities of cornmeal and flour were once produced.
What a wonderful and rare joy it is to see these reminders of our past. If you look hard enough you can find these bastions standing stalwart against time all throughout our state. So much can change and be forgotten over time. Yet, solely these survivors stand and decorate our state with character.
#81 on the Adventure Map