A Visit To War Eagle Grist Mill: Arkansas

War Eagle Mill is a working grist mill. Learn about the history of the mill, as well as what you'll find when you visit.

Drive north on highway 303 in northwest Arkansas, past rolling farmland and tall pines, and feel yourself transported back in time as you round a bend and War Eagle Mill comes into view.

Sitting across War Eagle River, a rusty steel and wooden one lane bridge your only way across, the rustic mill looks like it has been there a hundred years. Although the building itself is not that old, the Mill's history spans more than a century.

The original War Eagle Mill was built in 1838, but was washed away in a flood ten years later. Another was built, but was burned during the Civil War by the Confederates to keep the Union soldiers from capturing and using it. In 1873, yet another mill was built, but it too was lost to fire in 1924.

But, through all these disasters, the foundation remained and was the starting point for the new War Eagle Mill built in 1973 by Jewell A. and Leta Medlin and Zoe Medlin Caywood. Since it is an authentic reproduction of the third mill built back in 1873, it really does appear to have jumped right off the pages of a history book.

Its eighteen foot undershot water wheel turns in rhythm to the water spilling over the dam. And, walking into the lower floor of the mill, the screen door creaking as it closes behind you, you hear the constant hum of the stone buhrs grinding the organic grains into flour, meal and other wholegrain products. Shelves are lined with cloth sacks full of everything from flour to pancake and waffle mixes. Other shelves hold jars of jams, jellies and preserves, all for sale at reasonable prices.

Walk up the steep, wooden stairs to the second floor and you'll find enamelware of all kinds, handmade knives, kitchenware, cookbooks, and even old-fashioned rubber band guns for the kids.

Follow your nose up yet another flight of stairs, to the third story of the Mill, and you'll find the Bean Palace Restaurant. Feast on waffles or War Eagle Biscuits and gravy for breakfast, or for lunch, choose beans and War Eagle Cornbread, Smoked Ham or Turkey Sandwiches, and all kinds of homemade pies, cakes and cookies.

If you love arts and crafts, make sure you visit in the spring or fall, when the fields around the Mill come alive with the War Eagle Mill Craft Fairs. In May, they have the War Eagle Mill Antique and Craft Show, and in October they have the War Eagle Mill Arts and Crafts Fair. Thousands of people find their way to War Eagle every year for great arts and crafts and to visit the Mill. And, no doubt, some of them come to enjoy being transported back to a simpler place in time. One glance and they'll know they have come to the right place.

To visit War Eagle Mill, take highway 412 about 15 miles east of Springdale, Arkansas, then 8 ½ miles north on highway 303, or 13 miles east of Rogers on highway 12, then 1 ½ miles south to War Eagle.

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