Saturday, June 15, 2019

Whittier Mill

Brett Davidson keeps running at Whittier Mill and posting it on Strava. Every time, it piques my interest. The Whittier Mill website makes it seem like a cool place - industrial history, ruins, trails, etc.; all things that I like. So, when I ended up down that way a few weeks back, I was happy that I had a chance to look around.

This is what it used to look like, apparently.

And this is what's left.


As soon as I arrived, I met a guy playing frisbee with his dog that sort-of gave me the rundown on the place. There are trails off to the right that link up to a main trail running along the back of the property, pretty much paralleling the railroad. There are more trails on the other side of the tracks, down by the river. And, so on.

Cool! Time to explore.

He was right, but man, what a maze. I've got the GPS data, but I haven't even begun to sort it out yet, and I didn't even bother to explore on the other side of the tracks yet.

According to the signs, all that remains of the once-bustling complex are the mill tower and the carpenter's shop. But, that's not entirely true. Back up in the woods there, one can also find the ruins of something else.

I'm not really sure what buildings those are, but I can see them in the aerial photo. Maybe I can consult one of the Sanborn Fire Insurance company's maps at some point to figure out what they were.

There's basically a giant field where the complex once stood. The mill tower stands to the right/center. Those ruins are in the woods on the right hand side. The carpenter shop is way over to the left.

The wooden beams around all of the doors and windows reveal that it burned at some point.

These days, it's the Will and Dessie Sammons Pavillion, and looks like it gets a good bit of use.

There were more trails back behind it, winding around, and leading out to the rear entrance.

It looks like the trails get lots of hikers, dogs, and bikes. There aren't any signs anywhere indicating what kind of traffic is preferred. The trails aren't anything exceptionally special, but the history of the place makes is pretty interesting, and I'll bet I can find a way to work it into one of my local routes.

Of course, there are still trails left to explore, down by the river, so I guess I have that to look forward to as well.

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