CHINA GROVE — “Chicken and Pickin’ at the Mill” is a very special night at the China Grove Roller Mill. This supper on Saturday, Oct. 28, will feature chicken dumplings and desserts. Supper will be served from 5-7 p.m. (or until the dumplings run out).
Music on the Roller Mill Porch will add entertainment to the evening. This year, Adam Truell will sing a variety of early 1900s songs paying tribute to the early years of the operation of the China Grove Roller Mill.
All three floors of the Roller Mill will be open for visiting. An agricultural exhibit displays pictures and artifacts of farming over 100 years ago. The exhibit reminds those who grew up on a farm of the life, hardships and joys of farm living and teaches other about the life of a farm family a generation ago.
The farming display describes planting and food harvesting, preparing and preservation of vegetables and meat, quilting, sewing, spinning yarn and other farming tasks. Numerous other displays show life in China Grove in the early 1900s.
New Roller Mill merchandise will be on sale. The items include teal towels and aprons with the “official” Roller Mill logos, note cards and prints of historical sites in China Grove, new scenic post cards, and hand soap made especially for the Roller Mill with a milk and honey scent.
The event is presented by the Rowan Museum. Proceeds from the supper will be used for the upkeep and operating expenses of the China Grove Roller Mill. Tickets are $14 for adults and $7 for children.
The Mill was organized in 1883 as a combination grist mill and sawmill. In 1903 the three-story brick building that now stands proudly on North Main Street was constructed. There is also a basement under the building that houses the motors that power the machines. Elevators to three floors carried the grain for processing.
The Roller Mill contains heavy-duty machinery that was used to grind grain. Wheat was weighed, cleaned, ground, smashed and sifted into flour. Corn was cleaned, ground and processed into cornmeal. Both were packaged in bags with the logo “Home Rule.” The equipment in the building is the original mill equipment and was in full operation when the mill was closed in 1995. The Historical Society of South Rowan purchased the mill in 1997 and it is now a Rowan Museum site.
The Mill is at 308 N. Main St., China Grove, and is on the National Record of Historical Places. Tours of the mill are offered by appointments for interested individuals and groups.
The mill contains an all-purpose room suitable for many small events including parties, reunions, dinners, and meetings. Call the Rowan Museum director, Evin Burleson, at 704-663-5946 for more information.