History

Machinery inside the old mill

Photo courtesy of Bobby Carlsen Photography

Confederate veteran James Anderson completed construction of a water-powered grist mill on Tomahawk Creek and began grinding for local farmers in 1888. His son Otey Watt Anderson, a mechanical engineer, took over the operation in 1908, after James' death. During Otey's ownership, the wooden dam and waterwheel were replaced by concrete and steel equivalents, respectively; and the French burr millstones were supplemented with a roller mill, which improved efficiency and produced whiter flour.

Otey had no heirs, leaving Anderson's Mill to be auctioned after he died in 1975. Walter Crider, a cousin of Otey, bought the mill and renamed it for the community and creek. He continued operation until 1988, when he closed the mill and planted a vineyard, starting with Chardonnay and Concord varieties. Pinot Noir, Johannisberg Riesling, and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes followed, and the first Chardonnay vintage was produced in 1990.

Corky and Nancy Medaglia purchased the winery, vineyard, mill, and house up the hill (which was earlier a general store and post office for the community of Tomahawk) from Walter in 1996. Corky, an engineer like Otey Anderson, hopes to return the mill to operation in the future.