by Jimmy Proffitt
October is our busiest month of the year. Visitors from all over come to experience the kaleidoscopic spectacle of fall in the Smokies. For many, it’s a longstanding family tradition; for others, it’s the first of many visits to come. Here at the Old Mill Square, we like to think of fall as one big homecoming for all. Home-cooked meals, smiling faces, and a friendly “come on in!” make everyone feel at home in each of our restaurants and stores. As you stroll the property, take in the splendor of the season that surrounds you.
Gaze up at the sprawling limbs of the massive red oak tree as its leaves blow about in the cool breeze. Pause to snap a landscape on the bridge with the mill’s water wheel in the background, a selfie in the middle of a patch of scarecrows, or a family portrait around a bountiful table as you enjoy an old-time Southern feast.
Tag along with Emmitt, a native son who’s traveled the world, as he shows you around our 200-year-old mill and other historic points of interest. He’s got some colorful — and often hilarious — stories of life in the mountains you won’t find in any textbook.
Taste flavors of fall in special sides at both restaurants, and sweet seasonal surprises in The Candy Kitchen, The Creamery, the Old Forge Distillery. Stand in line on the porch of the General Store and Mill for a hot-from-the-griddle hoe cake as Don, one of our former millers, fries them up fresh.
Be sure to stop by the Farmhouse Kitchen to sample our pumpkin and apple butters. And before you leave, let us send you off with a recipe to remember us by as you recreate the memory of an Old Mill Fall Homecoming in your own kitchen.