The Buffalo National River announces free Boxley Mill Tours Saturday and Sunday Oct. 12 and 13, 19 and 20 and 26 and 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Boxley Valley on state Highway 43 just south of Ponca.

Known through its history as Whiteley Mill, Villines Mill and Boxley Mill, from 1870 until the 1950s this grist mill was handed down from generation to generation and was an important component of the community. While a working mill the customers would have been Civil War Veterans, World War I and World War II Veterans.

Now, in the 21st century, the grist mill is under a 50 year lease with the Gorgas Science Foundation in partnership with the National Park Service.

Since the mill has no electricity you might want to bring a flashlight in order to read the exhibits and a camera for some unique photos. The mill is not handicapped accessible, although parking is in sight of the mill and only a short walk is required then 4 stair-steps to enter. Once inside there is a level ramp to walk and no reservation is required. Just stop in for this free tour of the first floor. Visitors of all ages will enjoy this rare opportunity!

The closest restroom and drinking water is located a couple miles north of the mill at the Lost Valley Day Use Area. Please call the Steel Creek Ranger Station for further details at 870-861-2570.

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