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The 'Old Mill' in Arkansas Is the Only Building Left From 'Gone With the Wind'

Updated on November 4, 2017
Casey White profile image

Dorothy is a former newspaper reporter and the author of several books. Michael is a professional landscape/nature photographer.

Every wooden-looking thing in this park and around the Old Mill (walkways, handrails, bridges) are actually made of cement and crafted down to the most minute detail.
Every wooden-looking thing in this park and around the Old Mill (walkways, handrails, bridges) are actually made of cement and crafted down to the most minute detail. | Source

Photographs Mimic Those of the Era

All of the photographs in this article were taken with an infrared camera, and were sepia-toned to mimic the photos of the era when "Gone With the Wind" was produced. To see what the mill looks like today, check out the video at the end of this article in which Patrick Hays, a former mayor of North Little Rock, discusses the history of this landmark site.

A Treasured Gem in North Little Rock, Arkansas

The Old Mill, which was featured in the opening scene of the 1939 classic movie "Gone With the Wind" is a treasured gem off the beaten path in T. R. Pugh Memorial Park in North Little Rock and it is reported to be the only building standing from that film. And, you can visit it for free from dawn to dusk each day.

Placards around the area present the history of a time and operation that modern technology has left behind.

Aside from seeing the quaint old mill, you will also find impeccable landscaping on the grounds, and restrooms available. This is a place that children, as well as adults will enjoy, so the next time you are planning a trip to Arkansas, try to work in some time to visit this great park with a cultural landmark that is well worth your time.

No pets, however, are allowed in the park.

Directions:

From I-40 drive north on Hwy 107/JFK Blvd. Turn right (east) onto D Avenue, then left onto Idlewild Avenue. Turn right onto Waterside Drive, then left onto Avondale Road and drive up the hill. Turn right onto Lakeshore Drive. The Old Mill will be on the left (north) side just east of Fairway Avenue.

Phone: 501-758-1424

Admission: Free

The Old Mill in Little Rock, Arkansas is a non-working mill and was built as a replica of working gristmills of the 1800's. It was commissioned by Justin Matthews in 1932 to be built by Mexican-born artist/architect  Dionicio Rodriguez.
The Old Mill in Little Rock, Arkansas is a non-working mill and was built as a replica of working gristmills of the 1800's. It was commissioned by Justin Matthews in 1932 to be built by Mexican-born artist/architect Dionicio Rodriguez. | Source
The bridge over the water at the Old Mill in North Little Rock, Arkansas, is as pleasing to look at as the mill itself.
The bridge over the water at the Old Mill in North Little Rock, Arkansas, is as pleasing to look at as the mill itself. | Source
Another view of the bridge over the water at the Old Mill in North Little Rock, Arkansas.
Another view of the bridge over the water at the Old Mill in North Little Rock, Arkansas.

Justin Matthews, Visionary Developer

The Old Mill in North Little Rock, along with the entire T.R. Pugh Memorial Park of which the mill is a part of, was the claim to fame for the late real estate developer, Justin Matthews.

Matthews gave several properties to the City of North Little Rock to be used as parks - Altheimer Park on Plainview Circle; the W. C. Faucette Memorial Plot Park at the corner of Cherry Hill and JFK; the Boy Scout Park located at D. Street /Cedar and Goshen; along with many others.

The Old Mill in North Little Rock, Arkansas, is  sometimes referred to as "Pugh's Mill."  Tripadvisor.com lists the mill as the #1 place to visit in North Little Rock.
The Old Mill in North Little Rock, Arkansas, is sometimes referred to as "Pugh's Mill." Tripadvisor.com lists the mill as the #1 place to visit in North Little Rock. | Source

Dionicio Rodriguez and Faux Bois (False Wood)

The entire structure of the mill is made of cement, including the wood-like shapes of the bridges and rustic seats, which were designed by Mexican-born artist and architect Dionicio Rodriguez, working in a folk tradition learned in his native country. His work, known as Faux Bois (French for false wood) is noted for its unique style of concrete construction that imitates wood. Several of his works of art are listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

The walkways and architecture of the Old Mill in North Little Rock, Arkansas are both conducive to interesting picture-taking.
The walkways and architecture of the Old Mill in North Little Rock, Arkansas are both conducive to interesting picture-taking. | Source

Photographers Love the Mill

The mill is often used as a background for portraits and wedding photography. Visitors can go inside the mill, climb the stairs, sit by the blue pond and take as many photographs as they want. The pond there is full of turtles, and there are two very interesting bridges on the property.

The Old Mill in North Little Rock, Arkansas, never actually operated as a mill.  Developer Justin Matthews intended the mill to represent a bygone era.
The Old Mill in North Little Rock, Arkansas, never actually operated as a mill. Developer Justin Matthews intended the mill to represent a bygone era. | Source

The Pulaski County Master Gardeners

The Pulaski County Master Gardeners are responsible for overseeing the flora on the grounds of the Old Mill, so the site is particularly beautiful in the springtime when azalea flowers and dogwood trees are in bloom.

© 2017 Mike and Dorothy McKenney

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