Last weekend we went to the Prater’s Mill Country Fair in Dalton, Ga.
Prater’s Mill is an original, working gristmill that was established in 1855. At the fair, people have the opportunity to walk through the gristmill, the cotton gin, an old country store, and a barn that features a large collection of historical items. This part of the fair was my favorite, because I always enjoy anything historical.
Of course, there was also a ton of shopping to be had as well. What we enjoy about these types of fairs (there is a similar Ketner’s Mill Country fair in Whitwell, Tenn.,) is that the vendors are heavily vetted. Everything is handmade and local, and unique.
There were also performances all day long on a stage. We caught a few dances by a clogging group.
I bought myself a quartz crystal necklace, which I always seem to have my eyes on, whenever I see a gem vendor. Derek bought himself a 4th-5th Century AD Roman coin, which was turned into a keychain.
There was lots of good food to choose from. We had pulled pork sandwiches, shared an apple dumpling, and a cup of hot cider.
We enjoyed our day here. This event may be an event that we put into our regular rotation for next year.
When I first moved to Chattanooga in September, Facebook started suggesting a lot of events for me to go to. Ketner’s Mill Country Fair was one of them, and I tucked the idea away in the back of my mind.
Ketner’s Mill is located in Whitwell, TN, about a half hour away from us, actually in the central time zone. It’s interesting and odd to be so close to the edge of a time zone barrier!
The Ketner family started working at the mill since 1842, according to www.ketnersmill.org. The mill ceased operations, but family members gathered together in the 1970s to restore the mill and house. It’s private property, but each year it’s opened to the public for the fair. The mill is not in production now, aside from that weekend. Visitors can buy cornmeal and watch it be made.
The fair featured a lot of vendors, wagon rides (we were lucky to get a whole wagon to ourselves) entertainment, blacksmith demonstrations and sorghum molasses demonstrations.
We learned that each of the vendors were all handpicked by the organizers of the fair. The items that each vendor had to sell were all nicely crafted. I stocked up on some homemade soaps, and we bought a small loaf of pumpkin bread to share at home. I only wish I had more money to purchase more items.
The fair grounds were beautiful as well. It was a cloudy day, and the clouds were low in the mountains. The mill was the focal point, and the Sequatchie River flowed behind it.
The drive to the fair was great as well, driving through some small towns and the Prentice Cooper State Forest. We pulled over many times to take photos of the scenery.