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Visit a Historic Blue Ridge Parkway Landmark in Virginia

Virginia's Mabry Mill

In the early 1900s, Edwin Boston Mabry and his wife Lizzie decided that they wanted to build a gristmill in rural Virginia. Upon the gristmill’s completion in 1910, Edwin and Lizzie added a forge, a sawmill, and a wheelwright shop to their property. During its heyday, Mabry Mill was one of the most popular gristmills in the region. Today, Mabry Mill is one of the most visited landmarks on the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway.

Mabry Mill

Photo by Flickr

Mabry Mill developed a devoted customer base due to a production flaw that turned out to be a major asset—low water pressure. Mabry Mill’s low water pressure ensured that the gristmill worked at a slower pace, which kept corn kernels from being singed as they were processed into cornmeal. Mabry Mill’s avid fanbase claimed that the mill created the tastiest cornmeal in Appalachia.

Mabry Mill has been lovingly preserved by the National Park Service. Located at Milepost 176 along the Blue Ridge Parkway, Mabry Mill is home to a gift shop, restaurant, and demonstration space where visitors can watch blacksmiths, weavers, and gristmill operators perform vintage trades. The Mabry Mill restaurant serves delectable chicken pot pie, blackberry cobbler, and fresh pancakes made from your choice of buckwheat, cornmeal, sweet potato, or wheat.

Visitors can also explore hiking trails that showcase Mabry Mill’s idyllic flowers, waterways, and verdant trees. A historic cabin called Matthew’s Cabin—which was relocated to the area during a renovation—offers a glimpse into what early 20th century Appalachian living was like. During the warmer months, Mabry Mill hosts regular mountain music concerts where visitors can hear traditional Appalachian music.

The Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the most picturesque roads in the United States. If you’re eager to experience Appalachia’s stunning beauty and vibrant culture, Mabry Mill is a must-see stop on any Blue Ridge Parkway road trip.

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