Mabry Mill is one of the most photographed places on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Just a few miles from Fancy Gap, it’s easy to see what makes it a popular destination for folks in the area. There have been countless pictures taken over the years of the picturesque mill across the pond. Other activities and interpretive programs emphasize the history of the mill and the area.
A History of Mabry Mill
The mill was built near the beginning of the 20th century by Edwin Boston Mabry (1867-1936). He and his wife Lizzie ran the grist mill for decades and added a sawmill, woodworking shop and blacksmith shop. He was not dissuaded by the lack of water to run the mill. Instead he built a flume system that drew water from nearby creeks. He continued to operate the mill until he lost the use of his legs, and then his arms. After that, the mill fell into disrepair for a number of years. The National Park Service restored the mill as part of the Blue Ridge Parkway construction. It soon became a desirable stopping point on the Parkway, as evidenced by this home video taken not too long after the restoration.
The gristmill, sawmill, blacksmith shop and flume have all been restored, making it easier to imagine what life might have been like for the hard-working mountain couple. If you time your visit right, you might be able to catch a modern-day smithy plying his trade.
The Mathews Cabin
The Mathews Cabin sits on the site of the Mabry’s old home site. The National Park Service tore the original home down to make room for this cabin, which was moved from the Mt. Lebanon Church community in Carroll County. It shows how families lived around the same time period.
Mabry Mill Restaurant
There is also a restaurant at Mabry Mill, well known for its sweet potato, cornmeal, buckwheat, blueberry and apple pancakes. Enjoy a hearty breakfast or lunch and dinner time classics such as chicken pot pie and homemade blackberry cobbler.
The Gift Shop
There is also a gift shop that features Virginia crafts and foods, as well as a wide selection of Mabry Mill and Blue Ridge Parkway-inspired gifts, clothing, books, music, souvenirs and bags of flour.
Enjoy old-time music concerts on Sunday from 1-4PM during the season.
Web site: https://mabrymillrestaurant.com/
About the Mabrys: https://blueridgecountry.com/archive/favorites/mabry-mill, https://www.nps.gov/articles/ed-lizzie-mabry.htm
2022 Operating Hours:
Daily, 7:30 am to 5 pm (Closes 6 pm Saturday & Sunday)
It’s located on the Blue Ridge Parkway, 266 Mabry Mill Rd SE, Milepost 176, Meadows of Dan, VA 24120. For more information, please call 276-952-2947.