Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Field Trip: Sheppard's Mill, Danbury NC
Recently N. and I read in our morning newspaper about an old grist- and saw-mill that was going to be sold by auction. The mill was open to the public prior to the auction and since N. has been especially interested in water wheels lately (since learning about Burden's Wheel in Troy, NY) and long interested in mills more generally (thanks to David Macaulay's book Mill), we decided to drive north and check it out. N. loved exploring every nook of the mill, puzzling over the functions of the mysterious, gorgeous wooden machines, tracing the chutes through floors and ceilings.
On the way home, we stopped in Danbury because we'd never been to this little village. We admired the old courthouse, now serving as county Board of Education. We looked at a 1923 jail that appeared to be at least partially abandoned. And we read on a Civil War Trails plaque about the late 18th-century Moore's Tavern, which General Stoneman used as his headquarters during his 1865 raid in western North Carolina, and the nearby Moratock Iron Furnace, which Stoneman's troops wrecked in order to disrupt Confederate supply production. The Civil War Trails markers were new to us, and we hope to seek more out in the future. As N.'s history reading progresses through the Civil War, we're looking forward to making connections with some of the actual locations of war events great and small.