By Ralphine Major

It is one of the most photographed scenes in the Smokies. The gristmill in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, links the past with today. The photo shown here is a throwback to the eighties. The Old Mill was one of our father’s favorite places. It also became one of mine. Perhaps it was the water bubbling over the rocks of the Little Pigeon River or the turning of the gigantic wheel that intrigued me. I decided to try my hand at capturing the image I had seen reproduced on mugs, shirts, postcards, and more.

The date written on the back of the picture is 1983. It was the year after we had bought a 35-millimeter camera to take pictures at the 1982 World’s Fair. I wanted my own photo of the historic Old Mill in Pigeon Forge. With camera in hand, I walked across the bridge and distanced myself far enough from The Old Mill so I could get the entire image in the camera’s viewfinder. With The Old Mill centered in the camera’s tiny window, I clicked the shutter. My own photo of The Old Mill was on film. Thirty-six years later, it is still one of my favorites in our photo collection!

There is no better place to capture priceless photos and memories than in scenic East Tennessee! Enjoy the fall!