- Standard View
Ragsdale Mill was built by the Reverend Francis Marian Ragsdale, brother of Captain Michael Jackson Ragsdale, during the Civil War in 1863. The millstones were quarried in France and brought into Savannah by blockade runners to bypass the U.S. Navy guarding the port, and then transported from the coast during wartime. The mill was designed to meet all the needs local farmers; millstones for grinding grain, threshing equipment to separate grain from the heads & stalks of straw, and a vertical saw under the millhouse for sawing logs into boards.
The overshot wheel in the photo is functional, the water delivery system was being rebuilt at the time the pictures were taken. The former support for the water flume was of a wooden trestle type, while the new supports plainly will be stone pillars.
The wooden drum located on the shaft coming from the cog that is engaged to the gearing on the inside of the waterwheel. The mill was purchased in 1967 by Dr. James & Nancy Cantrell. Mr. Cantrell was a Mathematics professor at the University of Georgia for 30 years. He did much to restore the mill, a house, barn, and outhouse that were on the 14 acres of land included with the purchase. The mill was restored and corn was ground into cornmeal. Dr. Cantrell also reroofed and restored an 1800's church that sat on a hill near the mill. The Methodist conference bought back the mill, and have since conducted an annual "Homecoming" at the old Mt. Olivet Church.
The historic mill is in good condition, not operating, and not open to the general public. The Cantrells sold the mill a few years ago to some friends. Current visitor status is not known.
Photo of Ragsdale Mill with the new flume installed in 2006.
Waterwheels eye view of the new supply flume.
Scene looking from under the flume towards the wheel of Ragsdale Mill located near Homer, Georgia.
Compare the first picture to this to see how the new flume changes the mills appearance. The mill is now owned by "Doc" Sisk.