Postcard From The Old Mill - Little Rock, Arkansas

In the opening sequence of the movie Gone with the Wind, the narrator eulogizes the passing of the Old South over a montage of quaint, picture-postcard scenes. One scene of pastoral bliss is a brief shot of a nineteenth-century gristmill. Few people realize that the Old Mill, as the building became known, was not old, was not a gristmill, and instead of being located in a quaint, sleepy southern hamlet, is located in a small park a block away from a busy thorough-fare in downtown North Little Rock, Arkansas.

Designed by the architect Frank Carmean and built in the early 1930’s, it is the work done by Dionico Rodriguez that is truly outstanding as he sculpted concrete to look exactly like wood, stone, and iron. Walkways and bridges look as though they were made from trees and driftwood instead of concrete. The intricate details are amazing. Even the planking and an old rain barrel are so realistic that you have to touch them to be sure they really are made of concrete.
The grounds are wonderful with a small pond and waterway surrounded by trees and moss covered rocky hillsides. Visitors instinctively speak using their inside voices and treat each other a little nicer. It’s like a time-out spot from the hustle and hurry world that lie just outside the gate of this oasis.

To visit, in North Little Rock, take McCain Boulevard East, turn south onto Fairway Avenue and then take a left onto Lakeshore Drive.