On the Backroads of Madison … Graves Mill {Madison, Va. Photographer}

Graves Mill

I took a long weekend from work–enjoying a beautiful 60-degree February day! I decided to explore some backroads in the adjacent county, Madison. This is Graves Mill, a former Grist Mill that was built in the 1790s by Thomas Graves. A bit of history:

“The complex also included a hemp and saw mill. Graves was also a distiller of spirits, and sold brandy. There was also a substantial blacksmith operation on site. The original mill site was constructed in 1745 by David Jones. Graves and his sons built a five-story gristmill over the foundation of the earlier mill, and in 1921, it was purchased by Silas Byron Deale, who reduced the structure to three stories.

This is right in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains–in fact I took the road to one of the trails in the Shenandoah National Park. Also on site is the old mill house, which now operates as a bed and breakfast.

What I found fascinating is the fact that Graves Mill was also a village and they have an adorable little village marker to honor that history. Mind you, this is in a remote part of the county (which is already rural). At first it seemed out of place, and then I realized how right it is.

It includes a stone memorial and bronze plaque to 40 men from the community that served Virginia prior to, and during the civil War. There is also a replica of the community’s 1900s post office, containing original post office furniture. More information about the park itself can be found here.

Also right next to the historical park is historic Graves Chapel. According to the church’s site, Graves Chapel was opened in 1886 by “the Shiloh Baptist Association.”

It sits along Kinsey Run. There is a little graveyard behind the old building.

The chapel closed in 1969, probably due to the dwindling population in this remote area, including the displacement of families who had lived within Shenandoah National Park. In 1979 it opened as an Episcopal mission church, until 1995.

The building is now the voting precinct for Graves Mill, a community center for the area, and there are even prayer services held at the chapel.

Much of the land around the old village is farm land with beautiful vistas.

Across from the chapel is an old school house. I didn’t find much information about it but it is a beautiful building.

4 thoughts on “On the Backroads of Madison … Graves Mill {Madison, Va. Photographer}

  1. Pingback: 2014 Snow {Landscape Photographer} | Terry Beigie Photography

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