About the Old Mill:
The Old Mill, located at Fairway Ave. & Lakeshore Drive in North Little Rock, is a historic re-creation of an 1880's water-powered grist mill. The mill was seen in the opening scenes of David Selznick's 1937 movie classic "Gone With The Wind", and is believed to be the only remaining structure from the film. Admission to The Old Mill is free, and the hours of operation are from sunrise to sunset.
The Old Mill, also known as Pugh's Mill, was built in 1933 by Justin Matthews as a replica of an old-water-powered grist mill. The mill was designed to appear as if it belonged in Arkansas and had been here since the 1800s. It is made largely from tinted concrete work over steel and copper rods made to represent wood, iron or stone, and features sculptures by Mexican artist Senor Dionicio Rodriguez.
The Old Mill was nationally recognized in 1986 by being placed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was also presented with the Greater Little Rock Historic Preservation Award by the Quapaw Quarter Association.
The grist mill on the first floor dates back to 1828, and some mill rocks on the second floor came from the plantation of Tom Knoble, the grandfather of Tom Pugh, in whose honor the Mill is dedicated. There are also two original milestones from a road laid out more than 150 years ago by Jefferson Davis. Along this road, the Cherokee and Choctaw Indians traveled from the present town of Dardanelle into the Indian territory, now Oklahoma. In addition three sections of a wrought iron shaft were cut from the stern wheel of a passenger steamboat, which traveled the Arkansas River in the 1800's, are used in the mill.
The park is decorated with sculptures of toadstools, tree stumps, and several ornate bridges. Senor Dionico Rodriguez, a sculptor and artist from Mexico City, was responsible for all the details of each piece of concrete work made to represent wood, iron or stone, as well as the designing of the foot bridges and rustic seats. During the summer of 1991, Rodriguez's work at the Old Mill was renovated by the grandson of the original artist, Carlos Cortes
The Old Mill is often used for many outdoor activities including picnicking, relaxing, and even weddings or photo shoots. It is not unheard of for people to choose the Old Mill as a place to say their nuptials and many schools around North Little Rock have their school photos taken there.
A lake stretches into the Lakewood neighborhood below the Old Mill. The architect for the mill and park was Frank Carmean, the artist was Senor Dionicio Rodriguez, and the builder was the Justin Matthews Company.
The Old Mill Park was originally christened the T. R. Pugh Memorial Mill in honor of Thomas R. Pugh, of Portland, Arkansas, a staunch friend and benefactor of Matthews. The Old Mill was given to the City of North Little Rock as a gift by the former Justin Matthews Company on May 24, 1976. Maintained and landscaped by the Pulaski County Master Gardeners and North Little Rock Parks & Recreation, the park includes a variety of tree species including Eastern Redbud, Black Locust, Post Oak, Northern Red Oak, White Oak, and Shortleaf Pine