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Cleghorn Mill / Washburns Mill
Rutherford Co. | North Carolina | USA | u/k
Township: Union Twp. | Watersource: Charles Creek.


Cleghorn Mill / Washburns Mill
Picture: Robert T. Kinsey 10/20/2010

The mill is situated on the golf course and cannot be seen from the road. You will need permission from the golf course to go to the mill.

Cleghorn Mill / Washburns Mill
Picture: Robert T. Kinsey 10/20/2010

The mill was once part of the Cleghorn Plantation and is now located on the grounds of the Cleghorn Country Club Golf Course. Permission must be sought to gain access to the mill.

Cleghorn Mill / Washburns Mill
Picture: Robert T. Kinsey 10/20/2010

On Sept 16th, 1764, a tract of land was patended by the Crown Governor of North Carolina to Col. John McDowell. McDowell, born in 1743 in Derry Twp., Donegal, Lancaster (Chester) County, Pa., received the tract, on Cleghorn Creek and Broad River, then in Mecklenberg County. This is the first mention of Cleghorn Plantation.

Cleghorn Mill / Washburns Mill
Picture: Robert T. Kinsey 10/20/2010

The side of the mill away from the dam. All of the outer surface is covered with tin siding of several varieties. The mill is on Charles Creek, wuich flows into Cleghorn Creek and then into Broad River.

Cleghorn Mill / Washburns Mill
Picture: Robert T. Kinsey 10/20/2010

The waterwheel, about 24' in diameter, is in relatively good condition, although the stone wall in front of the wheel no longer supports a wooden sluice box that would enable water to pour over the overshot wheel and operate the milling mechanisms inside.

Cleghorn Mill / Washburns Mill
Picture: Robert T. Kinsey 10/20/2010

The pulley on the right rear is geared to the waterwheel, and in turn, is connected to the other large pulleys in the first floor by belts that are still intact.

Cleghorn Mill / Washburns Mill
Picture: Robert T. Kinsey 10/20/2010

There is not much left of the lower floor as is seen in this photo. The door behind the stairs to the second floor opens out to the rear of the mill and the creek behind.

Cleghorn Mill / Washburns Mill
Picture: Robert T. Kinsey 10/20/2010

The long lever must have engaged and disengaged another pulley that operated off the main pulley system.

Cleghorn Mill / Washburns Mill
Picture: Robert T. Kinsey 10/20/2010

The Washburn Mill name comes from Dr. Ben Washburn. Washburn, born in 1885-died in 1980, was brought up on the familys 2,000 acre Cleghorn Plantation at the turn of the 20th century. He got a medical degree from Wake Forest, and together with his wife Zillah, a nurse, worked in many countries, sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation, setting up public health programs.

Cleghorn Mill / Washburns Mill
Picture: Robert T. Kinsey 10/20/2010

He contributed to the research on sickle-cell anemia in the mid-1930s in Havana, Cuba, the results of which were written up in the American Medical Association Journal. He and Zillah moved back the the South Mountains in 1962. He wrote a book, A Country Doctor In The South Mountains, about his earlier doctoring experiences in Rutherford Co. before going all over the world under the auspices of the Rockefeller Foundation.

Cleghorn Mill / Washburns Mill
Picture: Robert T. Kinsey 10/20/2010

GPS: 35' 17.93N, 81' 58.57W 837' elevation

I will praise my Redeemer; His triumphant pow'r I'll tell, How the victory He giveth Over sin, and death, and hell. "I Will Sing of My Redeemer" by Philip Bliss 1838-1876
(From the Nazarene hymnal - Sing to the Lord)
Directions: The mill is on the Cleghorn Golf Course, which is on Cleghorn Mill Road, south of Rutherfordton. From Rutherfordton, take US 221 south about 0.2-0.4 miles to an intersection with Thunder Road on the left and Coxe Road on the right. Turn right on Coxe Road and drive to the Cleghorn Golf Course on the left, which lies just north of US 74.
 
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