One of the prettiest locations in the entire state of Arkansas is the War Eagle Mill and Bridge near the town of Rogers.
If you are in the area this is a place that you will definitely want to visit. The mill includes a general store, a restaurant, and is situated beside the beautiful single-lane bridge which crosses War Eagle Creek.
War Eagle Mill is not only a historic site but it is also a true working mill. If you are lucky might even catch the miller on site and get a demonstration of how the mill works.
War Eagle Mill is the last working grist mill in Arkansas and is actually believed to be the last undershot mill in the country!
We visited recently and loved seeing this graceful and historic mill.
A Visit to the War Eagle Mill and Restaurant
Location and Hours of the War Eagle Mill
11045 War Eagle Road Rogers, Arkansas 72756-7544
Days and Hours
The mills is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9-5.
Do note that the cafe is only open from 9-3.
If the Rogers schools are closed then the mill will be closed. They also may opt to close at other times depending on ice on the bridge. Again, always remember to check the Facebook page of the mill for further details.
What to Expect When You Visit War Eagle Mill
As we came around the corner to cross the one lane bridge to the mill my breath was taken away by the beauty. You might want to park in the spacious parking area of the mill and then take a walk back across the bridge for a glorious photo.
The mill stands tall and is painted a beautiful brick red color which is set off perfectly by the blue-green of the running water in front and the green foliage behind. It is perched right on the edge of the War Eagle Creek. The old bridge itself is a sight to see!
This is an Arkansas view that is not to be missed.
The War Eagle Mill has a general store that sells both products produced by the mill as well as a variety of other locally sourced items.
As mentioned above the mill is actually a working mill and therefore you can purchase non-GMO and organic flours, whole grains, and cereal products that are all made right on site.
You can also shop online if you want to purchase more of the items made at the mill.
The general store has items such as local honey, candies, jams, pickles, home goods, and so much more.
Grist Mill Presentation
We were sad that we arrived too late for the grist mill presentation. These are normally held daily at 11:00 and 1:00. You might even want to call ahead to make sure that you are able to see the mill in action.
The mill also has a cafe where you can have breakfast or lunch. The cafe is up the wooden stairs from the general store. They serve a variety of dishes but they are most famous for their beans and cornbread…so of course that is what we had!
It was delicious! Oh, and don’t miss out on the cobbler either!
There is seating in the cafe as well as some picnic tables outside where you can sit and listen to the running water of the creek.
War Eagle Bridge
Part of the charm of the War Eagle Mill is the War Eagle Bridge which crosses the creek. This is a graceful one lane steel bridge which was originally built in 1907. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on November 19, 1985.
There is parking behind the mill as well as a small parking area across the street that seems to be mostly used by those enjoying the creek.
There were plenty of people fishing below the small overflow dam on the day that we were there.
What is an Undershot Mill?
War Eagle Mill is an undershot mill which means that the wheel is turned by water running under the wheel. It is more common for the wheel to be turned by water running over the top of the wheel.
The reason that there are so few of these types of mills left is because in order to work properly they have to be built right on the water’s edge. Most of them have been washed away in floods.
It is believed that War Eagle is the last working undershot mill in the US.
History of the Mill
This is the short version of the history of the mill. To learn more check out this page from the War Eagle Mill website.
The mill was first built in 1832 by pioneer couple, Sylvanus and Catherine Blackburn. Before building the mill they first built their house on a hill above the creek and it not only still exists but is still in use today!
Next they built the mill which quickly became a gathering place for the community. Unfortunately it was washed away in a flood and had to be rebuilt in 1848.
Next the Civil War intervened. The family moved temporarily to Texas to keep themselves safe from the conflict and the mill was left abandoned. During the chaos of the war the mill was burned to the ground by the Confederate Army in order to keep the Union troops from using it.
The family returned to the area and one of the sons rebuilt the mill for the third time. The business then began utilizing a turbine engine and milling logs. It was quite prosperous until it burned again in 1924.
It wasn’t until 1973 that Mr. Jewel Medlin purchased the property and begin the 4th rebuilding of the mill. The current building was built based on plans found of the 3rd iteration of the mill but brought back the original undershot wheel.
The mill has been owned since 2004 by Marty and Elise Roenigk
More Interesting Activities Near the Mill
When you visit the mill you might also want to drive just a little further down the road to go underground at the War Eagle Caverns or to hike and enjoy nature at Hobbs State Park.
The mill is also near beautiful Beaver Lake.