Day: February 22, 2004

Mill Musings

Mabry Mill IceAccording to the National Park Service, Mabry Mill is the most photographed location along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

That shouldn’t surprise anyone who lives around here.

The Mill is featured on just about every brochure put out by the Park Service, local tourism groups and historical societies.

Most tourists visit the Mill during the Spring, Summer and Fall Months.

I like to visit during the cold of winter, when ice clogs the mill trace and forms its own beauty with nature.

I took my first picture of the Mill in 1955, using a plastic Kodak Brownie camera my grandfather gave to me for Christmas. A typical snapshot. The pond in the foreground, the Mill in the background.

The print still resides in one of my mother’s scrapbooks but the negative, unfortunately, was lost long ago.

As my interest in photography increased, so did the pictures of the Mill. In 40 years, I’ve shot the Mill from every imaginable angle and at every time of the year. Mill Ice 2Lately, in sorting through more than 40 years of prints, negatives and slides, I’ve cataloged more than 1,000 shots of the Mill, ranging from the standard snapshot of so many years ago to artsy-fartsy low angles and Photoshop-modified collages.

But a box of slides taken during the winter in 1982 caught my attention and two from there are featured here.

It’s the dead of winter and ice coats the mill trace. No tourists, only a couple of cars in the parking lot and mostly silence on a weekday afternoon.

A great time at Mabry Mill and the Blue Ridge Parkway.