Chicken and Pickin’ set for Saturday at China Grove Roller Mill

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 22, 2019

Staff report

CHINA GROVE — “Chicken and Pickin’ at the Mill” promises to be another special night at the China Grove Roller Mill.

The supper on Saturday will feature homemade chicken and dumplings made by Linda and Aaron Kepley. Homemade desserts will complete the meal. Supper will be served from 5 to 7 p.m., or until the dumplings run out.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children. The roller mill, located at 308 N. Main St. in China Grove, is on the National Record of Historic Places.

Music on the Roller Mill Porch will add entertainment to the evening.

MGM, a musical group featuring Mary Gillespie, Graham Carlton and Melissa Adams, will cover songs from the past 40 years, ranging from country and bluegrass to roots rock and folk.

Each MGM member brings a unique style, drawn from skills acquired playing with various groups over the years. With tight vocal harmonies and acoustic instruments, the band will provide an Americana experience.

A silent auction will feature a variety of items including dog grooming, pet boarding, restaurant meals, baked goods, gift certificates, terrariums, fall decorations, gift baskets, a table-top grill and others. Bidding ends at 7 p.m.

All three floors of the roller mill will be open.

A new agricultural exhibit displays pictures and artifacts of farming over 100 years ago. The exhibit is a reminder for those who grew up on a farm of the life, hardships and joys of country living and teaches others about the life of a farm family a generation ago.

The display describes planting and food harvesting, preparing and preservation of vegetables and meat, quilting, sewing, spinning yarn, and even the occasional “farmers still.”

Chicken and Pickin’ is presented by the Rowan Museum. Proceeds from the supper will be used for upkeep and operating expenses of the China Grove Roller Mill.

Sponsors are F&M Bank, First National Bank, Gary’s Bar-B-Que, King Eye Center, Animal Care Center, and L.L. Goodnight and Sons.

The mill was organized in 1883 as a combination grist mill and sawmill. In 1903, the three-story brick building that now stands on North Main Street was constructed.

A basement houses the motors that power the machines. Elevators to three floors carried grain for processing.

The roller mill contains heavy-duty machinery that was used to grind grain. Wheat was weighed, cleaned, ground, smashed and sifted into flour. Corn was cleaned, ground and processed into cornmeal. Both were packaged in bags with the logo “Home Rule.”

The equipment is the original mill equipment and was in full operation until the mill closed in 1995. The Historical Society of South Rowan purchased the mill in 1997, and it is now owned by the Rowan Museum.

Tours of the mill are offered by appointment for individuals and groups.

The mill includes an all-purpose room suitable for small parties, reunions, dinners and meetings. Call the Rowan Museum at 704-663-5946 for more information.