Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas at the old Langhorne Mill

Christmas morning in the Blue Ridge came with that spectacular fiery glimmer that often lights up the mountains with a ruddy glow -- even on days that will be overcast and short.  But by an hour after dawn it provided a nice, even, flat light at one of the prettiest sites in these mountains -- the remains of the old Langhorne Mill on the upper reaches of the Dan River, a few miles north of Meadows of Dan.

Here's what Leslie Shelor wrote on the Web about the early settlers here:

The earliest recorded settlers in Meadows of Dan reached the area by 1810. Patrick County was formed from Henry County in 1790, and established farms and communities were already in existence in the lower parts of the county. The Langhorne family, one of the few of English descent in the community, held a land grant that contained much of what is now considered Meadows of Dan, but by the time they reached the area, they found many people already settled. The Langhorne patriarch is credited with giving the area the name Meadows of Dan. He settled on the headwaters of the Dan River, and grist mills in the Langhorne name were built along the stream. Another settler, John Shelor, came to the area when he was young, hunting wolves for bounty. His journal, which no longer exists, records that there had been a fire in the area. The new growth, as he described it, had reached the height of the shoulder of a deer.  Thus the "meadows".

 I don't know who took time to put some bright ribbons and swags of greenery on the little bridge on Langhorne Mill Road or on the beautiful old stonework foundation of the mill itself, but they certainly made my day when I saw it on my way back to the farm after picking up some diesel.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

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