Al Blanton and The Old Mill win Prestigious Phoenix Award from SATW
The Phoenix Award is an honor given out by the Society of American Travel Writers. The award is to provide recognition for individuals or organizations actively involved in conservation, preservation, beautification and anti-pollution campaigns which further the growth and appeal of North American travel destinations. Winners of this prestigious award must be nominated. The nominations are then analyzed by the Phoenix Award committee. The committee chooses which ones to go before the SATW Board of Directors.
This year, The Old Mill and Old Mill Square received the award. The Old Mill is a Pigeon Forge Chamber of Commerce Member. Built in 1830, the mill is the oldest structure in Pigeon Forge. It is the only Pigeon Forge building listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The mill has continuously operated as a working gristmill for over 180 years. During the Civil War, the mill powered looms that made cloth for the Union soldiers’ uniforms. Owner Al Blanton is dedicated to preserving the mill. He strives to ensure the history of the mill is kept alive. Resident millers continue to hand-fill, weigh and hand-tie each bag of stone-ground grain. Over 400,000 pounds of stone-ground grain is made each year! Visitors are able to partake in tours of the mill and learn about its historic significance.
In the Old Mill Square, the Old Mill Restaurant is open to the public and has become a dining staple in the Pigeon Forge, Tennessee area. The mill serves biscuits, cornbread, pancakes, hush puppies, muffins and grits which are all made with products from the Old Mill.
The Pigeon Forge Chamber of Commerce is proud to have such a wonderful Member. Congratulations to Al Blanton and the entire Old Mill family and staff for this prestigious award. Thank you for helping to continue Pigeon Forge’s legacy.