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War Eagle Mill became very successful after it was originally built. Families who lived around the War Eagle area would come to have their grain milled and enjoy picnics or parties while they waited. The Mill saw both good times and bad times. In 1848, it was destroyed by a flood and then rebuilt by the Blackburns, who had 9 children. The Mill was a necessary resource in the community, milling both lumber and grain. In 1861, during the height of the Civil War, the Blackburns fled to Texas, though 5 of their sons enlisted in the Confederate Army. During the War, it was again destroyed, this time by fire at the order of a Confederate general. When the war ended, Sylvanus returned with his family. His son, James Austin Cameron Blackburn, rebuilt the Mill in 1873. This time, instead of using the water wheel, a turbine engine was put to use. But again, the Mill burned down in 1924, this time by an unknown cause. In 1973, the Mill changed ownership to Mr. Jewel Medlin and was rebuilt for the fourth time, which is the structure you’ll now see upon visiting. The undershot water wheel was brought back and still powers the Mill today. Finally, in 2004, the Mill was sold to Marty and Elise Roenigk; Elise currently oversees it.
According to the history of the Mill on the War Eagle Mill website, “The Mill today holds true to the founder’s values: Use the finest quality grains, grind fresh daily, and keep your customers coming back for more!”
Visitors can explore, take photos, take a little walk across the bridge that crosses the War Eagle Creek, watch the water wheel turn and churn, and even do a little shopping inside the Mill. The area is absolutely gorgeous; I can definitely see what prompted Sylvanus Blackburn to settle in this area. I was awfully tempted to take a seat in one of the rockers conveniently located on the front porch of the Mill and just take a little rest.
Walking into the Mill, you’ll begin to feel the history of this place, as the door swings open and the floors begin to creak. The first floor holds all kinds of delicious foods and other souvenirs, from Non-GMO grains, flour and mixes to jams, jellies, sauces, candies, postcards, cookbooks and more. You can watch the Mill in action, and you can shop around. They always have a few samples ready for visitors to enjoy delicious dips and other treats.
Climbing the floor to the second floor leads to all kinds of kitchen delights. At one time, I’d purchased a pastry mat at the Mill, but you’ll find all kinds of tools, dishes, handmade items, t-shirts, quilts, aprons and more. Kids will enjoy looking through some of the souvenirs available. Did you forget your fishing pole? Never fear because you can get one here. It’s a mighty tempting floor for this particular foodie.
Finally, meandering up to the third floor, visitors can enjoy a meal or dessert at the Bean Palace Restaurant. With a full menu, they serve breakfast, lunch and Tea Time. We stopped in for lunch, where Jaden and I enjoyed a BLT, while Dan and Jacob enjoyed the more traditional meal of beans and cornbread. I especially enjoyed that drinks were served in jars – how fun is that? The Restaurant is worth visiting, even if you aren’t going to eat, mainly because of the décor. At the top of the stairs, you’ll find the Mini Museum, filled with artifacts and treasures from the last two centuries. And on the walls you’ll find even more antiques, like old flour bags, signs, photos and newspaper clippings.
Details for Your Visit
A simple visit to War Eagle Mill doesn’t have to cost you a dime, unless you’re like me and find yourself picking up a random bag of flour or a mix you just have to try. Hours are 8:30 to 5 p.m. every day from the beginning of March through January 1; they close from January 2 to January 31, but they’re open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays during the month of February. You won’t find an elevator, so it’s important to take note that stairs are involved. You’ll find War Eagle Mill at 11045 War Eagle Rd in Rogers, AR.
Another reason to visit the War Eagle Mill? It’s home to the War Eagle Mill Fall Arts and Crafts Fair in October of this year. Mark your calendar!
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