Tour season winds to a close

Grinding cornmealHave you taken a tour of Yates Mill this year? Do it quick before you run out of time!

November is our last month for seasonal mill tours and corn-grinding weekends, before we take our annual winter break in December, January and February. You still have several opportunities to take a Mill Heritage Tour on Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. The tours are $5 per person (cash or check, with lower prices for seniors and kids). They may be cancelled at the last minute if the weather’s bad, because about half of the tour occurs outside, so be sure to call ahead (919-856-6675) if the skies look stormy.

We also have one more corn-grinding weekend on the calendar, on Nov. 17 and 18. On the third weekend of each month during tour season, our head miller starts up the waterwheel to grind delicious Yates Mill cornmeal, which you can buy in the mill yard along with T-shirts, caps and other souvenirs. Tours are conducted every 20 minutes from 10 a.m. to 3:40 p.m. Saturday (with an hourlong lunch break) and on Sunday from 1 p.m. to 3:40 p.m. Volunteers in period dress will explain how Yates Mill functioned as a business and a community gathering place since before the city of Raleigh was established.

Historic Yates Mill County Park is open year-round, so why is Yates Mill itself closed during the winter? For one thing, we don’t like to put stress on the fragile milling machinery during winter weather. Also, the break gives us a chance to make major repairs. This winter, we plan to replace both the mill’s roof and the forebay (the box-like structure next to the dam that directs water over Yates Mill’s waterwheel). Yates Mill Associates is solely responsible for the cost of these repairs, and we rely on gifts from the public to help us pay the bills. You can make a gift by clicking the “Donate” button on the left side of this page or by sending a check to Yates Mill Associates, P.O. Box 10512, Raleigh, NC 27605-0512.

If you don’t make it out to see us in November, don’t worry – we’ll have plenty of cornmeal on hand as well as other gifts and crafts during Yates Mill Associates’ annual holiday sale on Saturday, Dec. 8. We’ll be in the park center starting at 10 a.m. with lots of goodies to help you liven up your holiday shopping list. It’s a good idea to pre-order cornmeal before the November corn-grinding weekend, so we can be sure to have enough. Just drop a line to and tell us how many bags you want (a two-pound bag costs $5) and whether you prefer yellow or white cornmeal. And of course, we’ll start tours again in March.

Come see us before we go into hibernation! And keep an eye on our news page for more details on merchandise and special activities at the holiday sale.


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