As noted in the introduction to this ebook, Floyd County hauls a wagon-train of grist to a writer. Here is a proposed supplement to The Water-Powered Mills of Floyd County, Virginia: Illustrated Histories, 1770-2010, by Franklin F. Webb and Ricky L. Cox, 2012.
NAME OF MILL: Floydiana.
LOCATION: Annie Lane SW, off Rt. 221 (Floyd Highway) .4 miles south of Dodd Creek. Basement atop bedrock upon ridge, eight-foot ceiling. Elaborate but well-used Pakistani rug, approx. 10 X 12 feet, bought at Finders Keepers Annex. One outer double-door capable of opening for sunshine.
POWER SOURCE: Propane heating and cooling, propane chiminea. Electricity used for other needs, supplemented in last two years by sixteen solar panels.
EQUIPMENT: iMac computer, speakers, mug-warmer, dehumidifier, dictionary, thesaurus, books, map.
HISTORY: Randall A. Wells (b. 1942) operated this i-Mill from 2013 through 2016. Its unusual variety of grist included the acoustic, chromatic, textural, social, cultural, natural, artisanal, commercial, biographical, autobiographical, recreational, historical, topographical, transportational, geographical, geometrical, zoological, and even ferroequinological (the Ro’ & Willie).
The scribler-miller often collaborated with laborers from the community who ranged in age from 13 to 90+. Fred First was his right-hand man (although not in the literal sense of the Nolen brothers).
According to some Floydians, the miller had an otherworldly side. He even made use of a divining stone, decorated with costume jewelry, that he called a Circumspect. An enterprising figure, he may have sought a new venture, some say to grow free-range vegetables or beef-fed grass, others to operate an excursion train between Willis and Roanoke. A few of the pious warned that he would run a commune dedicated to the study of Angel in Goggles: Earthly Scriptures.
One farmer saw him stare out the door at the line of wagons, pate shining, and yell “Grinder, be not ground!” As for the ocular oracle–if it existed, it vanished.
The office is preserved by the Floyd County Historical Society.