The John Addington Mill

Location: Five miles northwest of Wise; two miles northwest of US 23. 
Fifty feet west of State Road 626; five hundred yards northeast of Big Laurel; on Rocky Fork of Guest River.

Date: About 1840.

Description: In log building about 14 x 16; stones of native grit, handmade; power furnished by waters of Rocky Fork, from a log dam, daubed with moss and clay across the stream, and a board runway or "race" to a turbine wheel made from a solid piece of poplar log.

History: Sometime about 1840 three Addington brothers, John, Joseph and Charles, came from Scott County and settled on Rocky Fork of Guest River. John settled on a hill, five miles from the Wise County Courthouse overlooking Guest River. Joseph settled two miles up Rocky Fork and Charles a half mile north up a small branch.
     While Jackie Wheatley was operating a mill only a mile below John Addington's place, there was no road, and Addington built a mill to afford convenience for himself and immediate neighbors including his brothers, William Bond and Rafe Kilgore and Arter Wheatley. This mill was operated up until about the time of the Civil War when John Addington sold out and moved to Letcher Co., KY, where the remainder of his life was spent.
     The only sign left of the old John Addington mill today is one decaying poplar log in the bank of Rocky Fork. 
This, I am told, is a part of the dam abutment. 

Source of Information: Mrs. Elizabeth Stapleton, 
Patton Kilgore and Elbert J. Bond


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