Today's mostly cloudy skies that ran contrary to the weather forecast meant I had to postpone my photo trek plans, so instead I stayed close to home and visited Gilreath's Mill. Gilreath's Mill is one of the select few water powered mills still standing in Greenville County, ensuring its historic status. Depending on the owner at the time, the mill has also been known as Bruce's Mill, Heller's Mill, Taylor's Mill.
Joel Bruce built what is now known as Gilreath's Mill as a corn mill sometime between when he bought the property in 1801 and the first contemporary account of the mill in 1839, with tradition giving a date of 1814. The property would pass on to John Heller, and then Washington Taylor in 1840. In 1890, P. D. Gilreath took over the mill property and began producing wheat flour in place of corn flour. The mill would remain in the Gilreath family until transferred to the Gilreath Mill Foundation in 2007, with the rest of the property subdivided and sold off over the years.
The mill is only a few miles away from Greer, so a few minutes and I'm there.
The front door bears the painted name of Perry Duncan Gilreath.
Beside the door is the National Register of Historic Places document from 1976.
Behind the mill near the creek is the rusting waterwheel.
Also nearby is the foundation of a saw mill.
The mill is padlocked with a fading No Tresspassing sign above the front door warning me away so I didn't explore inside.
The mill is in relatively good shape, but could use some restoration work. Hear's hoping the Gilreath Mill Foundation can make that restoration work happen.
More information and references
- South Carolina Properties in South Carolina page about Gilreath's Mill including the nomination form.
- Gilreath's Mill Marker at the Historical Marker Database. Scroll down for pictures of the interior.
- Gilreath's Mill at the Greenville County Library
- 1930s photo of Gilreath's Mill at Panoramio
- GC19C9Z geocache hidden at the mill
- Keowee Courier's January 31, 1912 story on the death of P. D. Gilreath
- Deed book F, page 350 (continued) and deed book F, page 546 (continued) at Greenville County Register of Deeds. Joel Bruce acquires property around Clear Creek in 1801 and 1802.
- Cannot find the John Keller deed in Greenville County's digital archive.
- Deed book EE, page 457 and again book FF, page 413 at Greenville County Register of Deeds. Washington Taylor acquires the mill property from the John Keller estate in 1873.
- Deed book VV, page 53 at Greenville County Register of Deeds. P. D. Gilreath acquires the mill property in 1890 after his father-in-law, Washington Taylor, dies.