The Mill by the Road
When locals tell you that
Shepard's Mill sits right by
Highway 12 near Greensboro,
Florida, they aren't kidding.
Historic Shepard's Mill
The old mill drew its power
from a scenic millpond
across the highway.
Historic Shepard's Mill - Greensboro, Florida - Shepard's Mill in Greensboro, Florida - Shepard's Mill in Greensboro, Florida
Shepard's Mill
This historic gristmill in Gadsden County, Florida,
has been grinding corn since 1875.
A Rare Surviving Florida Mill
Water powered mills were once key fixtures
in most Southern communities. A few of
these historic structres can still be found
around the South. Some are preserved in
parks and others are rotting away from
neglect, but at least one still does exactly
what it was built to do.

Shepard's Mill can be found on the outskirts
of the town of Greensboro in Gadsden
County, Florida. Just a few miles from
Interstate 10 on State Highway 12, the old
mill is one of the last surviving water
powered gristmills in the Florida.

Built in 1875, the mill drew its power from
Telogia Creek. Unlike most of the surviving
mills that still operate, however, Shepard's
Mill is not the centerpiece of a park nor does
it function primarily as a heritage attraction. It
stands on the shoulder of State Highway 12,
barely noticed by most who pass by.

The old mill was built according to a plan that
allowed it to draw maximum power from a
limited fall of water. The water flows from the
millpond down a short drop beneath the mill
itself and then on into Telogia Creek. The
chute created just enough power to turn the
wheel of the mill and drive the grindstones.

Mills of this type were quite common in
Florida, where the natural terrain made them
more efficient. Florida's streams generally
flowed with less force than millstreams in
other parts of the South, so the design
worked well at locations like Telogia Creek.

The mill is not open to the public, but can
easily be seen from Highway 12. Its large
mill pond is just across the road.
Surviving History in Florida
Due to the nature of the
terrain, many Florida
gristmills were built along the
same design as Shepard's
Mill with the water flowing
beneath the actual structure.
The operators of the mill once sold grits, corn
meal, cane syrup and even high quality
Telogia Creek tupelo honey.

Some other points of interest in the general
area include the historic Dezell House, now
being restored in Greensboro, Lake Talquin,
the Apalachicola River and Florida's stunning
Torreya State Park.

The capital city of Tallahassee is just a short
distance east of Greensboro and Shepard's
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Copyright 2011 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.