Raleigh’s Yates Mill

yates_mill1yates_mill2Perhaps one of the most unique, yet underappreciated historical landmarks in Raleigh and Wake County is the gorgeous Yates Mill, just south of Raleigh. Originally built around 1756 by Samuel Pearson, this fully restored and operational gristmill escaped an alleged attempt at destruction by Union soldiers in 1865. The burned timbers are visible in the park museum.

Although it was last used commercially in 1953, thanks to diligent efforts at restoration that began in 1988 under the supervision of the Yates Mill Associates, the mill reopened to the public in 2006 as the centerpiece of the Historic Yates Mill County Park. Both the corn and wheat grinding machinery were restored and are operated from time to time. Today it is one of only a small handful nationwide of still standing, let alone still operational gristmills, and is the last remaining one of about 70 in Wake County. Regular tours are available inside the mill for a small fee, although there is no admission fee to the park itself.


5 Responses to “Raleigh’s Yates Mill”

  1. Laura Whitaker Says:

    Thank you for your post and I look forward to visiting the Mill one day soon.

    Capt. Samuel Pearson is my 6th great grandfather and I would like to communitcate with fellow relations. Capt. Samuel Pearson’s daughter, Ferebee, married Col. John Whitaker, Judge (of Echo Manor plantation, Wake Co.) and they are my 5th great grandparents.

    Laura Whitaker

    • Hi Laura,
      I’m related to Col. John Whitaker too, he and his first wife Elizabeth are my 5th great grandparents, hope you get this reply!

    • Leslie Gore Mahoney Says:

      I am also in the line of Col. John Whitaker from his 1st wife Elizabeth Hardy through Lucy Whitaker. I am enjoying the research on our ancestors !! I am in the process of joining the Daughters of the Revolution under one of my mom’s patriots from Pennsylvania, and am looking to adding all of my other patriots soon.

  2. I just stumbled upon this entry of your regarding Yates Mill – thank you so much for your kind words and your interest in the site. There is so much history still to be discovered and I hope to keep unearthing more of its past (in fact I am heading to the NC Archives today to see what I can dig up). I work as the program director at Yates Mill and have been working on the development and management of the park for over 15 years. It’s a great site at which to work, not only because of the great history and scenery, but also because of the wonderful community that surrounds the park and the great people I get to meet. I’d love to meet you sometime but also Laura Whitaker who commented on your post. Pearson descendants are always of interest! Sincerely, Rebeccah J.W. Cope

  3. thank you for helping to keep one of Wake County’s great historic treasures alive and illustrate it’s rich history!

    It is indeed a beautiful park and a photographer’s favorite. Of the few times I’ve been there, I have yet to take the interior tour and would love to do so, hope to see it in action soon. I hope you are able to dig up more to share with visitors. Best to you!

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