by Dave Lapha
February 24, 2005
A wooden three-story building by the top of the bluff was completed in 1860. Unfortunately, by the time the machinery arrived for the mill, the Civil War had also arrived. John’s dream of setting up machinery in the mill was soon confiscated by the Confederate government. The government took over the machinery and the building, allowing John to supervise the manufacturing of blankets, hats, and knives for the rebel army. Additions where also made to add a distillery, a blacksmith shop, and machine for carding wool to clothe the soldiers.
When the war was finally over, Dunn’s Falls began making flour, corn meal, hats, and money. When it wasn’t used for making the above, it became a fine dance floor for all the neighbors to gather and enjoy each other’s company high atop the bluffs.
Over the years, John Dunn disappeared, no one seems to know what became of him. The mill changed hands several times. The last thing to be made in it was meal before the mill vanished into the Chunky River.
Today an authentic 1857 grist mill and waterwheel that was relocated from Cave Springs, Georgia, recreates the workings of John Dunn’s mill. Enter into the mill for a look at the machinery and the building to get a glimpse of how things use to be. Follow down the stone steps to the edge of the Chunky River, and follow the path deep into the forest. Enjoy the sound of the flowing river and the chirping of the birds. Then follow the wagon road back up, across the top of the bluffs to where you started.
Picnic and enjoy a little fishing in the old mill pond at the entrance. There’s even a roped-off area for swimming, plus a nice playground for the youngsters.
The water park is open all year from 9am to 5pm. There is an admission of $1.25 per person (two and above) to view the mill and a full day’s use of the park facilities.
The 69-acre park offers primitive camping, fishing, swimming, picnicking, hiking, and history.
From journal Camping and Sightseeing in East Central Mississippi