As noted in the introduction to this ebook, Floyd County hauls a wagon-train of grindables 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 Hwy. S) .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 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 for about sixty months. Its unusual variety of grist included the acoustic, chromatic, textural, geometric, social, cultural, religious, artisanal, commercial, biographical, autobiographical, recreational, historical, geographical, topographical, meteorological, zoological, and pharmacological.
The scribbler-miller often collaborated with laborers from the community who ranged in age from 13 to 90+. Fred First lifted many a bag.
According to some Floydians, the miller had an otherworldly side. He supposedly made use of a divining stone, decorated with costume jewelry, that he called something like 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. Warned a few of the pious: he would run a commune dedicated to the study of Angel in Goggles: Earthly Scriptures.
One farmer pulled his wagon up to the mill on a winter solstice. Wells stood in the doorway and fixed his gaze on the wheel-paddles, which glowed light brown in the low-angled rays. Suddenly he exclaimed “Miller, be not ground!” and slammed the door from the inside. As for the ocular rock of an oracle–if it existed, it vanished.
The office as preserved by the Floyd County Historical Society: