Saturday, October 16, 2010

Ely's Mill

Last weekend we took a drive on the Roaring Fork Motor Trail in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. At the end of the motor trail is Ely's Mill. The mill was built in 1925 by a man named Andrew Jefferson Ely. He was a Yale law school graduate, practiced law in Tennessee and was also a printer. After the death of his wife he became disenchanted with city life and bought this 25 acre tract of land in an effort to live a healthy life. "Old Man Ely" preached against smoking, alcohol, coffee, as well as "store-bought" foods and other things. Read more about him here. The mill is still family run. They have an eclectic mix of local handmade goods - crafts, weaving, soaps, honey; as well as antique and vintage items. We really loved the handmade signs (by Ely himself - not for sale) and the taxidermy (also not for sale). Neil and I picked up a few things while we were there (pictured above). Neil found the woodblock print. We're trying to figure out the name. In addition to the crocheted pot holders and cowboy boot drinking glass I picked up a few buckeyes. I used to collect buckeyes with my grandma as a child. Apparently according to Ely's granddaughter they are said to keep arthritis away. I looked it up and this remedy dates back to ancient Europe - one keeps a buckeye in their clothes pocket to cure arthritis. The bark and leaves when made into a tea are supposed to help with varicose veins and other things (see this ehow article for more info). Also, it is said to bring men luck in "sexual matters" (see lucky mojo here). I guess we'll see if it works!

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