Corn was the basic food for
both human and animal consumption, and the necessity for the preparation of this
cereal for human consumption led early to the erection of grist mills for the
processing of corn, and soon after for the processing of small grain. As
necessity demanded, a few grist mills were built in Burke County before 1800.
Good evidence exists that a mill existed before 1792 on Hunting Creek on land
owned by James Stringfield near the present Magnolia plantation. There was also
a "Publick" mill on Irish Creek in 1794 possibly owned by Benjamin Parks. Beck's
Mill on the upper waters of Upper Creek existed in 1797 and may have been the
Shuffler's Mill of a leter period. Members of the John White family operated a
mill on a branch of Lower Creek before the Revolution. This mill site was later
owned in sequence by Hugh Montgomery, Daniel Bullinger,
John Kincaid, Sr., and finally to
Benedict Bristol. The mill was not in
operation in 1850 but the stream continued to bear the name of its last
operator (Bristol's Creek).