Local News

October 10, 2013

Prater’s Mill Country Fair set for this weekend

It’s country fair time at old Prater’s Mill near Dalton on Saturday and Sunday.

Always held on the second full weekend in October, the fair is presented at historic Prater’s Mill, a water-powered grist mill that still grinds corn the old-fashioned way. The mill is at  5845 Ga. Highway 2. Admission is $7, with children 12 and under free.

Begun by volunteers in 1971 to raise funds to restore the 1855 mill and surrounding buildings, the rural festival offers original art, handmade crafts, Southern foods and music. The event is a featured destination in the National Geographic MapGuide to Appalachia.

“The country fair and our tractor club share the goal of preserving the past for the future,” said Mike Trotter, a member of the Peach State Tractor Club. “So come to the fair and don’t miss hearing our antique tractors run.”

Crafts demonstrations include blacksmithing, quilting, wood carving, chair caning and hand tufting, a cottage industry that evolved into the tufted carpet industry centered in Dalton.

At the fair, visitors take self-guided tours of the operating grist mill, the country store, Shugart Cotton Gin and Westbrook Barn, complete with farm animals, a petting zoo and animals to adopt.

Across the road from the mill is the 1898 Prater’s Store. In a cabin near the store, Dalton Pike Church of God members serve authentic Southern meals of chicken and dumplins, collard greens and cornbread cooked on a wood burning stove. Elsewhere throughout the festival area are other specialties, such as pit-cooked barbecue, apple cider and churned ice cream.

During the fair, families enjoy canoeing on the Coahulla Creek, riding the “Little Texas” train and pony rides for the children. Educational exhibits include working antique tractors, antique cars and “Peacock Alley,” a clothesline display of handtufted bedspreads. Nature lovers walk the Norma Gordon Nature Loop and the new Prater’s Mill Greenway.

Continuous entertainment on stage offers Appalachian-style cloggers, a wild animal presentation, the play “The Legend of Charles Prater,” as well as country, bluegrass and gospel artists. Wandering  musicians, dulcimer players and storytellers perform throughout the festival area.

The Prater’s Mill Country Fair is sponsored by the Prater’s Mill Foundation, a nonprofit organization of volunteers dedicated to historic preservation and education. Thirty-seven civic clubs, churches and schools also participate in the community event.

Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Visitors are urged to dress casually and wear comfortable shoes. Parking is free.

After the fair is over, guided tours of the site will resume on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is charged.

Prater’s Mill is 10 miles northeast of Dalton, about 30 miles south of Chattanooga. Interstate travelers should take I-75 to the Tunnel Hill-Varnell exit (341), drive north 4.5 miles to the intersection with Highway 2 at Varnell, turn right and continue 2.6 miles to the mill, a total distance of seven miles from I-75.

For more information, call 706-694-MILL (6455), email pratersmill@PratersMill.org or visit www.PratersMill.org.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Dalton State turtle 4.jpg In the mood for love: Encouraging breeding, saving species

    For one Dalton State College couple, a cool misty shower is more effective than Barry White and candles at turning thoughts to love. And keeping this couple feeling amorous could mean survival of the species.

    August 1, 2014 4 Photos

  • Beaulieu expects 2,000 employees to be affected by week-long shutdown

    About 2,000 employees of Beaulieu of America in Georgia and Alabama will be affected by the company’s plans to conduct an inventory of its buildings and facilities next week.

    August 1, 2014

  • Moral monday 3 mlh.jpg Four ‘jailed for justice’ tell their stories

    Arturo Martinez was just 8 when his family came to the United States from Mexico, and though he is one of more than 500,000 young undocumented immigrants granted deferred removal by President Barack Obama, Martinez said his dream of pursuing higher education is out of reach because of Georgia policies.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tanner Blackton: Diners, servers must show understanding

    Try to imagine this: You’ve been on your feet for hours, hoisting heavy plates, buzzing from table to table, taking orders, running food, refilling drinks. All the while, you have a smile plastered on your face and a go-to attitude, even when people blame you for things that are out of your control, berate you for accidentally mixing up an order, or loudly complain about being seated underneath an air conditioning vent.

    August 1, 2014

  • Bugs and Kisses 1 mlh.jpg Local stores expect tax holiday to create lots of sales

    Local retailers say Georgia’s sales tax holiday weekends mean big business for them, and they are gearing up to capitalize on this year’s tax-free shopping on Friday and Saturday.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Esme file mw 2.jpg Still fighting

    Ten-year-old Esme Miller was celebrated earlier this year for the way she’s handled a bout with osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Historical photos of Murray County needed

    Maybe you have a photograph of a well-known preacher from the 1940s. Or maybe you have a photograph taken of a church choir from the 1920s.

    July 30, 2014

  • State DOT wants your input on transportation needs

    As state and national leaders consider alternatives for funding future transportation needs, the Georgia Department of Transportation wants to know what Georgians would like in their 21st century transportation system and how they recommend paying for it.

    July 30, 2014

  • Jail for Justice Tour event here tonight

    The Moral Monday Georgia Coalition, the NAACP-led multi-racial, multi-issue advocacy group, will host an event in partnership with the Georgia Dreamers Alliance, Coalition of Latino Leaders (CLILA), Whitfield NAACP and the Whitfield County Democratic Party at Dalton’s Mack Gaston Community Center tonight from 5 to 9.

    July 30, 2014

  • Two charged with tampering with evidence in drug investigation

    Two people have been arrested and charged with tampering with evidence in connection with the synthetic marijuana bust in February involving a Dalton business owner.

    July 30, 2014