Thursday, October 6, 2011

McCormick Mill Day

There are only three boxes left to unpack and we've managed to have a little fun almost every day.  A walk, lunch out, a drive in the country ..... little pleasures.

Each trip out to the new house gets me more excited to see it completed;  I'm confident that it will be as warm and welcoming as the old house.  

My IT guy (Joe) got us a wireless "aircard," so hopefully the blog posts will be more regular.  We're going to try and do without TV until the "real" move.  I'm fine with the occasional Netflix movie, but I'm not sure that Joe is equally as happy.  I may come home one day to find that he's figured out a way to hook up one of the antennas that are up on the roof! 

One of our outings was Mill Day at the nearby McCormick Farm.  Back in History class in elementary and middle school, it used to be standard to teach about inventors Eli Whitney, Robert Fulton and Cyrus McCormick.  I wonder if they are still part of the modern curriculum?  Cyrus was born and lived up in the northern part of the County; he's the one who invented the mechanical reaper which pretty well revolutionized grain production in America and changed the scope of agricultural production in the mid 1800's.  
The trademark red McCormick Farmall eventually became International Harvester
Water Wheel at the McCormick Mill

McCormick's 600 acre farm, Walnut Grove, was donated to Virginia Tech and is used as an agricultural experiment station.  Two acres with the gristmill, blacksmith shop, manor house, cabin, smokehouse and schoolroom is set aside as a memorial to McCormick and is a National Historic Landmark.  

Once a year the water wheel on the old grist mill is allowed to operate and "Mill Day" is held to celebrate and encourage folks to come and see the site.  

It was an unusually cold windy weekend and we were bundled up but still had fun strolling around.  In addition to the gristmill which was grinding corn, local folks were demonstrating their old McCormick Farmall tractors, early small engines, alpaca farming and blacksmithing/forge work. 

The Raphine Volunteer Fire Department was cooking the most delicious BBQ Chicken that I've EVER tasted!  

I'll travel to find them when I hear that they are firing up their pits again!!

We've been doing more riding, but today it was on my old trusty steed John.... as in John Deere.  

The big tractor is still at Paige and David's in LA but we've got the riding mower here.  The drawback to renting a house with 4 acres is the grass, and I'm here to tell you that mowing on hills slows down progress considerably!  

Gone are the days of daydreaming while mowing and cruising along with one hand on the wheel!  


  1. So glad you have some down time to enjoy the weather and see what's going on around in your new environment. Just lovely outing and I bet the barbecue chicken was delicious. Those firefighters know how to do some cooking. I'm going backwards now to pick up your other posts. I saw some horse down there, so got to check out where you were headed on them. Debi

  2. so glad you're getting used to your new home and surroundings! those mill photos are beautiful!

  3. It's near impossible to chuck a rock without hitting a historical marker in Virginia. Frankie and I are both history buffs and with nearly a century of living and exploring between the two of us we still haven't seen it all, but surely do love trying.

    In case you haven't been clued in yet the secret to being comfortable in these mountains during cold weather is layering, preferably with at least one layer of fleece because it breathes and is moisture wicking, and a wind/mositure proof layer on the outside. My first winter here I learned to love fleece long johns and Merino wool boot socks.

    Cabela's, Bass Pro Shops, LL Bean, Gander Mountain, Dick's Sporting Goods, Tractor Supply and even Walmart carry great selections at reasonable prices; much more reasonable than what UnderAromur goes for and just as effective.

    This weekend was a little chilly but, to coin a phrase, you ain't seen nothin' yet!

  4. Glad to hear you are settling in the old mill pic!

  5. Sounds like a fun outing. Glad you're making time to explore.

  6. What a wonderful outing! I love historical buildings and those old tractors always catch my eye. Have a great weekend!

  7. I hope you're enjoying learning about the area and meeting your neighbors.

  8. This looks like such a fabulously fun day! Rockbridge is a lovely county; you're going to love it there.


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