Farmers come for miles to have their corn stone ground
Many years ago, grist mills were in most communities, as local farmers brought their corn or grains to be ground for selling or personal use.
Over the years, with the influx of large commercial operations that produce meal for the masses buy creating ready-to-eat mix, the local mills have declined to only a few surviving across the United States. These few mills cater to farmers bringing their corn to be stone ground, mostly for their own consumption.
Just past Gaskin, on the Walton County, Fla., Geneva/Covington, Ala. border you will find one of the last remaining operational stone grist mills in the Southeastern United States, Finks Mill.
The mill was originally built in 1932, and passed through two hands until the Fink family took over in the early 1950s. The mill is currently operated by Rodney Fink and owned by his father, Quin.
Originally run by water turbines driven Natural Bridge Creek, the mill is now generated by an old tractor engine, as the water turbines were damaged during a flood several years ago, and never repaired.
Finks Mill caters to farmers across the Southeast, some traveling many miles to reap the benefits of having their corn stone ground. Such was the case on Dec. 10, as Leon Clyatt, a farmer from Chiefland, Fla. drove more than 300 miles to have his corn stone ground.
“There is nothing like it,” Leon quipped, “it just tastes better than anything out there on the store shelves,” he continued.
Currently the mill processes about 8,000 lbs of corn during its short operating season. The mill is open on Saturdays during corn harvest season. Call Dolly at (334) 504-1778 to set up a milling time. The mill is not open every day, so call to first. The mill is located east of Florala, Alabama on Sh 54 about four miles, veer right onto Cr 4/Fink Mill Road. Go about 3 miles to the mill on the left at Geneva Co line.