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Rice Mill / Norris Dam Mill
Anderson Co. | Tennessee | USA | Orig. 1798, this late 1930's
Township: n/a | Watersource: Lower Clear Creek.


Rice Mill / Norris Dam Mill
Picture: Robert T. Kinsey 09/09/2012

This mill was originally built in 1798, by James Rice and sons, along Lost Creek in Union County, Tn.

Rice Mill / Norris Dam Mill
Picture: Robert T. Kinsey 09/09/2012

The mill stones are original, and imported from France. There have been several changes to the mill over the years.

Rice Mill / Norris Dam Mill
Picture: Robert T. Kinsey 09/09/2012

At times it was used to power a sawmill, a cotton gin, and a trip hammer, and to operate a dynamo that supplied electricity to the mill and the Rice home.

Rice Mill / Norris Dam Mill
Picture: Robert T. Kinsey 09/09/2012

The mill was damaged during a storm in 1874. In 1879, new cogwheels were carved from "choice" hickory and the main shaft replaced with one from a white oak tree.

Rice Mill / Norris Dam Mill
Picture: Robert T. Kinsey 09/09/2012

It lasted for some 50 years until the TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority) replaced it with a steel one.

Rice Mill / Norris Dam Mill
Picture: Robert T. Kinsey 09/09/2012

James Rice ran the mill from 1798 to his death in 1829. His son, George, ran it until 1868, when he gave it to his son, Henry, in 1888.

Rice Mill / Norris Dam Mill
Picture: Robert T. Kinsey 09/09/2012

Henry gave it to his son, Rufus, who operated it until 1935 when the TVA purchased their land, which would be flooded upon completion of Norris Dam.

Rice Mill / Norris Dam Mill
Picture: Robert T. Kinsey 09/09/2012

The mill was then dismantled and moved to its present location. The TVA donated the mill to the Tennessee Dept. of Conservation in 1953.

Rice Mill / Norris Dam Mill
Picture: Robert T. Kinsey 09/09/2012

The inside cog wheel that is attached to the wheel axle inside the mill and is turned as water fills the cups in the outside portion of the waterwheel. The wooden teeth on the large wheel turn the smaller pinion gear on the upper-edge of the next photo.

Rice Mill / Norris Dam Mill
Picture: Robert T. Kinsey 09/09/2012

The smaller pinion gear at the top is turned by the large wheel, which powers other equipment. The axle also turns the vertical gear below, which is engaged by a larger toothed gear in the middle-right of the photo.

Rice Mill / Norris Dam Mill
Picture: Robert T. Kinsey 09/09/2012

A millstone lying about the mill; typical of those used in the mill to grind grain and corn.

Rice Mill / Norris Dam Mill
Picture: Robert T. Kinsey 09/09/2012

GPS: 36D 12.79'N, 84D 4.35'W ele 906'/276 meters Norris Quadrangle

Directions: The mill sits just off US 441 on the right upon entering Norris Dam State Park from the town of Norris. The mill is on Lower Clear Creek Road and can be seen from US 441.


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