After a summer of repairs at Mabry Mill, the flume is once again delivering water to spin the gristmill’s big wheel. The Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, National Park Foundation, and National Park Service are inviting visitors and members of the community to celebrate the completion of the new flume and repairs to additional historic structures during a ribbon cutting ceremony from 2 to 3 p.m., Thursday, October 3, at Mabry Mill, milepost 176 on the Parkway.
Blue Ridge Parkway Superintendent J.D. Lee, Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation CEO Carolyn Ward, and Madeleine Balkonis, Senior Manager, Community Partnerships with the National Park Foundation will lead the ceremony. Light refreshments will be provided.
Ed and Lizzie Mabry built the gristmill in the early 1900s. Ed was a skilled carpenter and blacksmith, and completed much of the work himself with the help of his wife. The mill was acquired by the National Park Service in 1938 and underwent its first restoration in 1942.
In addition to reconstructing the flume, National Park Service staff replaced shake roofs on additional period buildings at the site. The projects are a collaboration between the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, National Park Foundation, and National Park Service. Private donations for the project were matched by funding from the National Park Service through a Centennial Challenge grant.
“As one of the most iconic and recognizable locations along the Blue Ridge Parkway, Mabry Mill is a destination for visitors from all over the world,” Lee said. “With assistance from the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, National Park Foundation, generous donors to both organizations and a tremendous amount of work done by park staff this can continue to be an enjoyable place to visit into the future.”
Although the work is complete, fundraising for the project continues. The groups welcome additional donations to cover the final costs of the project.