Every year, the Ole Gilliam Mill in Sanford hosts their yearly crank-up, and every year this small festival is such a pleasant day trip! Although open year round for campers, weddings, or even just a pleasant stroll, they really bring out the big dogs for their festival.
The orginal Gilliam’s Mill was built in 1850 by Stephen Henley, and passed thru a few hands before being washed away by a flood in 1928. Worth Pickard bought the tract, and reconstructed the mill slightly up the creek from the original site. In 2000, the Pickards donated the mill, along with 15 acres and several buildings, to the Ole Gilliam Mill Park, which is a non-profit.
Some high points of exploring this park, along with the mill itself, include a covered bridge, a large pond with some un-identified ducks (and if you know what these ducks are, they would sure like to know themselves!) large grindstone picnic tables, a stage with a covered audience area. Of course, there is also the motors, and what motors they are! We have included a few pics below to give you an idea.
Another big draw is the Ole Gilliam Mill Pottery showroom, and the visible wood fired kiln. Periodic demonstrations are offered for those interested in the process of wood-firing.
We have included a few pictures of the buildings that were open for the festival, such as the Civil War cabin, the Freeman Cabin, the blacksmith shop, etc.
The address for Ole Gilliam Mill is:Hwy 42 West
Sanford, NC 27330
To rent the area for events, please contact Jimmy Bass at 919 774 5554 or 919 498 5324. To learn more about the mill, you can view their website by clicking here.
If you would like to view the facebook page for Ole Gilliam Mill, please click here.
Pond and resident ducks
The Covered Bridge
The Actual Wheel
Views of Gilliam’s Mill
One of two cabins
Ole Gilliam Mill Pottery
Chain Saw Carving
Huff Puff Poofs
And now? We’re “going hunting”. We hope you enjoyed learning a little about Ole Gilliam’s Mill. It is truly a beautiful place that is devoted to preserving some of our North Carolina history, and we thank all the people involved in the Crank Up for taking time to answer our questions.