- Standard View
It is believed that a man named Hess (Hesse) built the first mill on this site in 1796.
The mill consists of almost twin parallel structures joined together, the one on the right perhaps having been the saw mill, while the left one the grist mill.
The dam on Hesse Creek behind the mill structure. The mill is now a private, family dwelling.
Looking at the face of the concrete dam, across the millpond with the surrounding hills and ridges. Taken by Kevin Bannister in 1988.The mill and dam on Hesse Creek. GPS: 35' 42.55'N, 83' 49.40'W 965' elevation Knoxville Quadrangle
Sluice gate on the backside of the mill, and upstream of the dam. Taken 1988. *Update: I lived in the John Martin Mill in 1988 for about a year. Charlie Coada, and his wife Eula, were still living at that time. It was a wonderful place to live and I wish I could have stayed there forever. The log foundation to the first mill, built in 1796 by John Hess, is located about 100 yards downstream from the dam. At the time I lived there, it was still visible on the far side of the stream just below the swinging bridge.
Update cont'd: There is a partial log dam behind the present concrete dam, that is a couple of logs high. I helped Charlie drain it that summer, to get the sediments to move on downstream. I also helped him repair the lower sluice gate in the turbine chamber below the dam. We closed the upper gate and opened the lower gate to drain the chamber and he built a new gate and I installed it. We caught a huge mud turtle below the dam and ate that fellow too along with several fish. He was mighty good rolled in fresh ground corn meal from the grist mill and fried.
Charlie Coada, the owner at the time I lived there, in the mill workshop. He rented it to me for $100 per month. It was hard to heat in the winter as it only had a wood burning stove. Photo taken by Kevin Bannister in 1988.
The mill from far side of Hess creek. The upper story was an apartment, the lower story was Charlie Coada's workshop and contained a working grist mill, in which he would grind corn meal. It had two turbines; a large one that drove the millstone, and a smaller one that ran equipment in the workshop. Taken 1988.
The dam, from inside the turbine room of the mill. Update cont'd: There is also a natural face in the stone at the base of the dam. It looks like a man and you can see it only at certain times of the day, after the sun casts a shadow below the dam. I was astounded the first time I saw it and I don?t think very many people are aware of it. You might mention it on your site, to see if anyone has ever photographed it. Taken in 1988 by Kevin Bannister. Submitted 03/091/2012*
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