Sheppard’s Mill

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Sheppard’s Mill on Snow Creek, Stokes County, N.C. was built by Calla Hill Sheppard in 1904 to replace an earlier grist mill on nearby Ugly Branch. Sheppard’s Mill was a “roller” mill that produced corn meal, rye flour, hush puppy mix, plain flour, and feed. The mill is a two-story weatherboarded frame structure with a gable roof and a long one-story shed section which was used as a saw and planning mill. It is powered by three water turbines.
With its various operations, Sheppard’s Mill was also called the “Snow Creek Roller Mill and Wood Working Plant.” Adjacent to the mill were a warming house (where people kept warm in winter while waiting for their flour), and a small store. Both buildings are still standing. The store is now a residence and the small warming house is unoccupied.

The mill operated until the 1950’s when Sheppard died and Hurricane Hazel washed away the wooden dam. In the 1960’s the dam was rebuilt with concrete and the mill was restored, yet it never resumed operation.
The following is from an article in the DAVIDSON E.M.C. “Friendly Flashes” publication dated June, 1969 (as told by Ned Mitchell and Nina Elizabeth Sheppard Carroll):
The original mill site was on Ugly Creek, but it burned and a new mill was built on Snow Creek in 1904 by Callie Hill Sheppard also called “Kelly.” He was married to Isabell Shelton and the couple had eight living children who helped with the work.

According to Nina Elizabeth, one of the Sheppard girls, “Papa could make whatever people needed and do whatever needed to be done, from making the best water ground corn meal, flour feed, running a sawmill and planer, to acting as a veterinarian, pulling teeth for people, and making caskets for burials.” “Papa made his own pliers for pulling teeth. Later, papa’s brother, Marion Sheppard, who was a doctor in Lawsonville, bought him a pair of dentist pliers. They were made of silver.”

The following article appeared in the booklet: WALNUT COVE AND STOKES COUNTY (1914), published by T. J. Covington to illustrate the leading men and businesses of Stokes County.

Mr. Sheppard is a pioneer in developing undeveloped resources. Twenty-five years ago he practically opened a new territory by installing a flour and meal mill and a wood-working plant on an undeveloped water power on Snow Creek. His business has had such a steady increase that he has had to enlarge and rebuild three times. At present the Snow Creek Roller Mills and Wood Working Plant is one of the most successful enterprises in the county.
Mr. Sheppard is a power in the industrial activity. The story of the development of a community hinges on the work of this man. He has aided in the establishment of schools, churches, better homes, and is now leading a movement for good highways.
Mr. Sheppard is prominent in the Democratic party. He was its nominee for Sheriff in 1912. His method of life is such that he attracts widespread attention from his fellows.
Compiled by:
Charles H. Farlow
Stokes County Historical Society

Photo and article is courtesy of the Stokes County Historical Society

Click here to visit the Stokes County Historical Society

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