Author Archives: Michael Criswell

Little Greenbrier School

The Little Greenbrier School in the Great Sony Mountains, this was a tough one to shoot because a little old lady that was a Park Employee must have been setting up for some type of demonstrations the morning we arrived and she was gung-ho to stop me and Robert Lussier from getting a shot of the inside of this place. As I watched Bob wait for her to make a trip to her car from the church he made his move to the front door to get some brackets inside (had to bracket due to the gloomy weather outside and darkness inside the school). Bob made his way in and she was right behind him, I don’t know what exposure he was on but she was not waiting for him and moved right in around him, shaking the floor and his tripod I would imagine. Bob thought it was me funny enough. As she left again I gave it a go, only I blocked the door a bit with my tripod and spider monkey legs(a moniker I picked up crawling through abandoned Detroit churches). My plan worked although she was not a happy camper waiting for that last long exposure.

The Little Greenbrier School is a former schoolhouse and church in the ghost town of Little Greenbrier, it was built in 1882 and was used as a school and church almost continuously until 1936. Classes were first held at the Little Greenbrier School in Fall 1882. Richard Perryman was the first of 39 teachers who would teach at the school until its closure in 1936. Students throughout the Little River Valley attended the school, some making a 9-mile daily journey from the Meigs Mountain community. 

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Posted in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Landscape and Architecture, NXNW 2018, Smoky Mountain National Park, Tennessee Tagged , , , , , , |

John Cable Mill

 The Cable Mill which was built by John Cable in 1867, is one of the most popular landmarks in Cades Cove. In the late 1800s, this mill provided homesteads with a place to turn corn or wheat into flour for making bread. In addition to converting grains into flour, the mill was used to mill lumber. In fact, the farmhouse a brief walk away was made out of lumber cut on this very mill.

The mechanics of the eleven-foot tall wheel were well designed but simple. The large water wheel that drives the grist mill is an overshot mill – this simply means that the fast-flowing mountain streams strikes the top of the wheel. As the wheel turns, it drives a runner stone that turns. There is a very small gap between the runner stone and the stationary stone below and the corn or grain is fed into this area from a gravity-fed hopper. The miller, which was quite skilled in his trade, could position the corn or grain at a certain spot on the stone to achieve the desired fineness of the cut. I happened to get a shot of the miller that day (excuse the noise) it was a dark rainy day and it was virtually pitch black with no light inside the mill and I was fumbling around with my settings to get a quick shot so I know the ISO was sky high.

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Posted in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee Tagged , , , , , , , , |