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Corn from Tomotla


The Cherokee Herald (Murphy, N.C.) newspaper in its June 17, 1874, issue ran an advertisement that asserted, “It has been ascertained that one and half bushels of corn ground at the Tomotla Mills will last a family seven days, whereas the same amount elsewhere only last the same four days.” According to the Heritage of Cherokee County, in the early 1900s, William Benton Sneed ran a gristmill in the Tomotla community. Payment for grinding corn or other grains was by a toll amounting to one-eighth of the output.

~WCU Digital Collections Travel Western North Carolina


Sounds like my kind of corn or maybe I should say my kind of mill!


p.s. The Pressley Girls will be playing this Sunday July 10 @ 2:00 p.m. in Hayesville, NC at The Festival on the Square. If you make it to the festival please say HELLO!

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Ed-thank you for the great comments! Snirl is a word in my vocabulary : ) Now I need to figure out why I never had it in a test LOL : )

Hope you have a great week!


Blind Pig The Acorn
Celebrating and Preserving the
Culture of Appalachia

I wonder how it was determined the corn milled there lasted longer than corn milled elsewhere, and if it really did, I wonder why it did.
Couple of "wonders" there, just call me a "Wonderer!!!"
But I do wonder those things.
God bless.

I don't know about the mill at
Timotla, but I went with daddy to
have our corn ground sometimes. His mill was about 3 miles into the Nantahala Gorge from the Topton Bridge. I marveled at the amount of water from Rolands Creek it took to turn that big wheel. Raleigh Gregory only took a small portion for his part,
(maybe because he was friends
with daddy.)

In the late 50's, and 60's I rode
the school bus and we turned at
the lower end of Junaluska Road,
went right by John King's Mill.
This was a shortcut to school. I
think that building is still there...Ken

Wonder if the miller might have been grinding corn more suitable for livestock feed along with corn intended for human consumption. On a another topic, when my mother saw me make a face over something, she would always say, "Don't snirl your nose up at me." I hadn't thought of that in years. I found a definition in the online Merriman Webster dictionary.

A mill where I live and about the might like.The girls will like the site about the the mines and the tourmaline.their are four parts Ihope you like it.

It sounds as if the other mills were taking more than one-eighth toll. Sounds like Tomotla charged ,1875 bushel toll while the other mills were charging .3 bushel toll.

By the way, is snirl a word in your vocabulary? I don't recall seeing it in any of your posts and when I put it in the search box nothing came up.

Tipper, the first thing that came to my mind is, who did the ascertaining? The second thing, at my house the better a food product tastes the quicker it is used up. Maybe the Tomotla Mills stuff made even the hogs snirl up their snouts.
I knew a miller one time who would reach down every once in a while, get a handful of dirt and put it in the hopper. When I asked him why he would do such a thing, he replied "You wanted it ground didn't you? Well, this here is ground too!"

Yes, I made up that last part!

It must be true because it was "ascertained". I'd rather not think that false advertising had gotten an early start in Cherokee County. Then again, maybe the miller had some 5 loaves/2 fishes skills. Miss Cindy makes a good point; that's a whole lot of cornmeal to last only 4-7 days. Maybe the average family was vastly larger than today(like 20+ people).

Tipper--Any conjecture on why corn from the Tomotla Mill "went farther?" Maybe that miller ground, to borrow from one of the ancient Greek philosophers (or possibly the Bible), "exceeding fine."

Jim Casada

Sounds like an interesting business transaction. However, I wonder how the output can be different if the original amount starting was the same. Maybe other businesses are taking more of the haul. Hummm!
Have fun at the festival.

That's interesting. Wonder how the yield can be so different. That seems like a lot of cornmeal to use in a week. I guess cornbread really was a mainstay in the diet back then.

My grandpa ran a grist mill too, in Wayne county ky. Along with a lot of other jobs to keep he's family of 9 kids going strong. 😊

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