Raleigh’s Yates Mill
Perhaps 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.