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Cincinnati Mill

Once upon a time, Cincinnati was alive with a general store, school, livery stable, my great grandfather's blacksmith shop and a grist mill. Driving through the area, called Rag Hollar, one would never believe this was once a bustling small town.


Families named Jackson, England, Thurman, Spears, and Gilbreath all settled here.

Around the bend on the left, one would never know a grist mill once stood right here.

mill before pic

Word has it that when this mill was torn down, it made way for the Jackson canning factory. I am a Jackson. Here it is today...literally today, July 29th, 2018.

mill location today

Yes I'm tramping through the woods in shorts and barn boots like any other respectable farm girl would do. It just looks like a grown up wood, but you can see the hump the mill sat on is still there. And if you know where to look, you will find rebar sticking up out of the ground where the building once sat. I could not find them today but I did find hand -hewn stones that were part of the foundation, and this one large stone pulled up by the tree that grew on top of it.

stone in tree

assorted stones






Sadly, the creek is but now a trickling brook. It Is hard to imagine it ever turned a water wheel let alone a giant millstone! I have heard stories my whole life how my grandfather and his childhood friends would push an old car chassis up the hill where the mill sat and would coast down. Until recently, that car was sitting in this wood, fairly in tact, with a tree grown up through the middle. But someone has ripped it out of its historical resting place.

old car

After a heavy morning rain, the creek flowed a little deeper than I've seen it in a long time.


The cool air and sweet/pungent scent of green leaves and decaying tree bark brought a bit of respite to an Arkansas July. The underbrush was so thick I could not see my truck just a few yards away. Time stood still, thoughts of a different, more romantic era flooded my mind.

Covered in stick tights and chiggars, I climbed back through the barbed wire fence to head home. History teaches us much and we should strive to pass on memories and knowledge to the next generation and beyond. I can only share what I have read or been told and I wish I knew more.

My mom wrote a fantastic poem about the mill that will take you back to by-gone days when life was not at all easier, but slower, fuller and real. I hope you enjoy it.


The old mill stands…..a silent ghost…..
Once a vibrant community place,
Clutching yesterday’s sounds and voices
Within her timbered embrace…..

Rhythms of water rise, then fall,
Afford power for grinding the meal…
Mere memories, now, but….hush, can you hear
Farmers sharing views at the ‘wheel’?

Wooden planks creak, old belts slap,
Gears squawk their doleful reply.
Dutifully milling day in and day out
‘mountains’ of wheat, corn and rye.

A brook, nourished by streams, ripples by
Singing as she glides gently along,
“Come play with me, we’ll have great fun,”
‘Tis the theme of her cheery song.

Listen to the babbling laughter upstream;
Ambitious lads ‘skippin’ stones.
Little girls giggle and squeal with delight
Sharing secrets for their ears alone.

Ladies dressed in calico prints
Share jelly and bread recipes
or the latest in tatting and quilting tips;
Others mend pants at the knees.

Young misses and gents have eyes for each other,
Too shy to approach, so to speak.
Each one hoping just maybe
To receive a ‘peck’ on the cheek.

The by-gone mill bids all, “Come.”
Poets with pads and pens,
Artists toting canvas, paints and a brush;
And true lovers with nuptial amens.

One must conjecture what it was like
‘Ere the grist mill came to an end.
The oaken wheel creaked through its last revolution.
Farewell forever dear friend

Shirley J. Jackson 1996


Jill Barlow


Future articles will include information about gardening, meat birds, egg birds, photos and lots of project ideas.

For further information, to ask a questions or to suggest a program topic, contact Jill Barlow at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..