They had me at Gone With the Wind. Who wouldn’t want to see the Old Mill that was used in the opening credits of what may be one of the most popular movies ever filmed?
The Old Mill isn’t in Hollywood and it wasn’t built as a set. The Old Mill is located at the T.R. Pugh Memorial Park in North Little Rock and it preceded the movie by six years. Built in 1933, the mill was the idea of Lakewood neighborhood developer Justin Matthews. He contracted to have the mill resemble early Arkansas grist mills. Built in the replica of a water-powered grist mill, the mill was never a working mill, but was built to appear to be abandoned with no windows or doors just like those built-in the early 1800’s might have appeared.
The mill was built in honor of Matthew’s friend T.R.Hughes. The mill was featured in the opening of Gone With the Wind and it is the only remaining structure still standing To celebrate the films 50th anniversary the mill was used as the site of the unveiling of the Gone with the Wind commemorative postage stamp.
I was blown away by the beauty of the mill and the surrounding landscape. Fairytale benches and bridges were formed by Senor Dionico Rodriguez. Calling his style rustic, today it is referred to as faux bois.
It is easy to see why this is the scene of around 200 weddings a year. The history of the site alone would be enough to bring you to this lovely place, but once I went there, history or not, it is a stand alone site for tourists to flock to.
While we were visiting there was a young woman, a traveler that had come from another country and had to stop and have a few pictures taken of herself by the mill and the fairytale bridge.
Watch the opening scene of Gone with the Wind and you will see the bridge. Scott Sudduth of the North Little Rock Convention and Visitor’s Bureau took the photos in this blog. Thank you Scott for taking us to this lovely place!
Located at Lakeshore Drive and Fairway Avenue, the Old Mill is free and open to the public year round.