Keeping Our Nose To The Grind Stone
At first glance these salvaged mill grist stones might pale in comparison to some of our more ornate architectural finds but not so! Millstones are a symbol of harvest and hospitality and date as far back as the dawn of man. The millstone is also referenced numerous times in the Bible. Samson, for example, after having been captured by the Philistines, was bound with bronze chains at the helm of a millstone and made to grind grain in their prison. The first economies in America were built around grist mills. Access to a millstone and grain were life sustaining resources for many cultures throughout history.
Millstones typically came in pairs and are cut from burrstone or limestone. The base or bed stone was larger and normally set in concrete or mortar to keep it stationary. The top or runner stone was a bit smaller and contained a handle. Grooves were hand cut into the face of the stones, the design of which ranged from subtle to elaborate. Grain was fed through a hole in the top of the runner stone. As this stone was rotated back and forth the groves cut through the grains of wheat, much like scissors, eventually grinding them to a fine flour. Smaller stones were used in homes and required two people to rotate the runner stone. Larger stones, available for community or commercial use, required considerable man power or quite often livestock to operate. Although access to flour for baking bread was vital, the act of grinding the grain was considered a menial task. Millstones were also used for grinding spices, nuts, and even pressing olives.
Today, these millstones are a considered a prized possession. The variety of intricate hand carvings on the face are works of art. For many, the stones are collector items. They quickly become a unique conversation piece when used in garden and landscapes. Currently we have three unique stones that we recently acquired. We have a 42", 48" and a large 6.5' in diameter European millstone. All three stones are on display at our wood warehouse. Stop by or visit us online to view more pictures and pricing information.
March 27, 2015, Vol. 145
Best of Bama
Last year we were honored to receive the 2014 Best of Bama Award in the category of Antiques. Each year Alabama Magazine honors businesses across the state as they hand out their "Best Of" Award in numerous categories which celebrate the best that our state has to offer in the way of Food and Drink, Arts and Entertainment, and Shopping. Award winners are based on reader votes cast online via Alabama Magazines website. We appreciate the tremendous amount of support that we receive from our many amazing customers. We are a family owned and operated business since 1969 and it is only through your continued support that we are able to continue in our quest to rescue, restore, and repurpose architectural elements of historical significance. Please visit Alabama Magazine online and consider casting your vote for Southern Accents in the category of antiques for the 2015 Best of Bama Award. Thank you!!
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Millstones at Cades Cove in the Smoky Mountains