After not spotting Stuckey’s ghost at the bridge we moved on to Dunn’s Falls. I had been wanting to see this since we moved down here. (We are originally from Iowa and have lived down here since 2005). I was almost as excited as the boys were. Who knew what this place would be like, but it sounded cool! As we got up to it we saw that the gate was closed. It didn’t open until Memorial Day. Drat. Cut short. I started to turn around and the boys urged me to drive down the road just a little farther. It was almost as if they knew something that I didn’t. I drove down the road and lo and behold there was an access road.
“Let’s just park here and walk down the road” I hear from the back.
“Ok” says the driver, not me by the way.
“What if we get into trouble?” (that was me)
“I think it will be okay mom”
“I don’t know….”
“Come on, let’s go”
“Grumble…trouble…grumble” (me again.)
With a few reservations I went. I mean, I could not let my guys head into the unknown alone now could I? We walked under a gate of sorts and down a very pretty access road. On the road there was a large pile of dirt that begged to be climbed so Sterling did. On top he found a shell that he brought home with us as a memento of the trip. Once we got to the end of the road it opened up and there was a little campground on the bottom and in front of us was the mill. In front of that was the mill pond. This is what it looked like from the highway.
Normally, I guess the mill is open and there are actual machines and things inside to look at. It was closed when we were there so all we got to see was the outside, which was very cool by itself. I was busy looking at the things that were around me when suddenly I heard:
“Mom, over here!!” I turn to look and there is Spencer in a wooden water box. OK, No idea how you got over there so fast, and pretty sure that you are not meant to be there but I will snap the picture. Which I did.
Around the rear of the mill there is a set of stairs. The stairs are very steep and worn. It seems as if they will go all the way down to the river below. There are actually signs that say to watch your step and that you shouldn’t swim here. So far I have not seen a path to a swimming hole!! As you continue down the stairs you can begin to see up underneath the building and realize that there are gears and things under there too. This place is so cool! Sterling had to climb. I like the picture I got there.
The original mill was built in the mid 1850’s by John Dunn, hence the name, Dunn’s Falls. In the original mill Stetson Hats were made as well as being used during the Civil war to make blankets, knives and hats for the Southern War effort. I found very useful information about the mill on this blog: Living Our Dream.
The waterfall that made the mill actually run is 65′ high and flows down into the Chunky River. It is really quite a magnificent sight, and one you don’t really expect to see in rural Mississippi.
There are plenty of photo opportunities and fun to be had. There is definitely a chance to get wet if you want to. Be careful though, the rocks are slick. Sterling and I both wore boots so we were all over the rocks and in the water below the mill. It is not very deep so we could walk around safely. Spencer, on the other hand wore tennis shoes so he stood off to the side for awhile. Finally I looked over and there he was with no shoes or socks on and his pants rolled up walking in the water toward the waterfall. Let me tell you, we went to visit in February and even though we live in Mississippi it still gets cold. I know from the water splashing on me that it was cold, and he submerged both feet. The guy is a trooper for sure!!
I am so glad that we drove just a little further up the road and got in to see this historic place. It was well worth stopping and looking around. I know that it was an adventure that they won’t soon forget.