Hiddenite, NC

Linney’s Mill - See A Working Mill As Your Next NC Destination

Kim McKinney

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Just over the Alexander County line in Hiddenite, North Carolina, north of nearby Iredell County (Statesville), is one of the few existing mills that use a water-wheel and grinding stones to produce cornmeal. W.L. Linney built the dam and the water wheel at Rocky Creek in 1937 and Linney’s Mill has been owned and operated by the family since that time.

It's a place I enjoy going when I need a ride in the country and is a pleasant destination that makes me smile. I love to just look at the water, breathe in the air, and relax.

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During a recent visit, we arrived on a Saturday right around the time the store usually closes at noon. Juanita Linney was incredibly gracious when we noticed the time on our way in, and said should just take our time because she was in no hurry. She surely made us feel that way. We enjoyed not just browsing through the store, but laughing and talking with Juanita. She is fortunate she got us out of there at all, as she is a delight.

In the store connected to the mill, you can purchase cornmeal ground at the mill, as well as grits and buckwheat pancake mix. They even produce their own grit soap, made with their stone-ground yellow grits.

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The store also features all kinds of other products produced locally or from other small businesses. I am partial to the seasoned flour, which I use to enhance things such as oven-baked french fries. There are all kinds of jams and jellies and apple butter. They even had sweet potato butter. I may have to try that next time I visit. There is honey and hoop cheese and jerky.

They sell muscadine and scuppernong grape juice, hemp CDB oil, barn quilts, cookbooks, and an extensive supply of homemade baskets made by Juanita's sister. To remember your visit you can add a mill t-shirt to your collection.

The mill cat Milly will probably be around acting as the princess she is. The day we visited she was snoozing on a chair up front. Milly even has her own book, "Milly The Mill Cat", by Sandy Payne. She is very beautiful, even if she didn't appear very excited about our visit. She tolerated us pleasantly. I guess that's all you can expect when you interrupt a good nap.

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The mill has its own campground. Reservations are recommended for the daily campsites, as they are often booked, and they do have electricity available. If you are lucky enough to get a campsite, you will get to listen to that rolling water as you sleep.

Linney’s Mill is open Tuesday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon. They close for lunch from noon to 1 p.m. each day.

For an easy, breezy day, take a drive through the country and pay them a visit.

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I love stories of people and places and enjoy telling these stories. I live in my hometown of Statesville, NC, in the Charlotte area, and love to show how lovely life is here. More is going on than may meet the eye. I also enjoy expanding throughout North Carolina to show the places and activities and people that make me believe life is fascinating and travel as much as I can, so write about that, too. I also have a passion for justice and a special interest in accessible healthcare, including treatment for drug and alcohol dependency. I am a woman of faith, joy, laughter, adventure, and live life to the full. Follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/kimmckinney719 or my blog KimberleyMcKinney.com or https://kimmckinney719.medium.com.

Statesville, NC
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