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“The Mabry Mill in Autumn”

“We are the music-makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams;
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams . . .”
Arthur William Edgar O'Shaughnessy (1844–1881), British poet. Ode

Nestled within and assimilated by the breathtakingly beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia is Mabry Mill; an enduring testimonial to the fiercely independent and industrious Christian men and women who forged lives from their hopes, their dreams, and that which God's creation had to offer.

Born in Patrick County and buried in Floyd County (not far from the mill), Edwin Boston Mabry (1867-1936), a Primitive Baptist and a Republican, was one of the fifth generation of Mabrys to live in this region of Virginia. On March 22, 1782 his great, great grandfather, Isaac Mabry, received a grant for 183 acres of land on the south side of Robertson's Creek of the Dan River. This land is on Mayberry Creek about 4.5 miles southwest of the Mabry Mill and about one mile east of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Located nearby is Mabry Gap and Mayberry Presbyterian Church. Isaac Mabry's brother, George Mabry, owned land on Rock Castle Creek, approximately two miles northeast of the Mabry mill, and also on Burk's Fork and Greasy Creeks nigh the present line between Carroll and Floyd Counties. Today there are hundreds of Mabry descendants living in Floyd, Patrick, Carroll and other nearby counties.

Prior to 1890, on land not far from his place of birth, Edwin Mabry, a man described by friends as honest, hard working, and temperate, erected a water powered lathe which he used to fashion chairs. Later he was employed as a blacksmith in the coal fields of West Virginia. In 1903 he returned to Floyd County, where he began construction of the mill.

Initially a blacksmith and wheelwright shop, a sawmill was soon added, followed, in 1905, by a gristmill. By 1910 the mill was fully operational and included a lathe for turning out wheel hubs, a tongue and groove lathe, a planer, and a jigsaw. Between 1905 and 1914 Mabry purchased adjacent tracts of land for the principal purpose of increasing his available water power. Farmers from Patrick, Carroll and Floyd Counties brought their wheat and corn to Mabry Mill to be ground into flour and cornmeal until 1935, when rapidly deteriorating health forced Mr. Mabry to cease his endeavors.

That which he required, Mabry undertook to fabricate himself, including the majority of the furniture in his home. He rarely traveled, however, when circumstances so necessitated, he journeyed either on foot or by means of his one-horse Concord wagon.

Although Edwin Mabry fathered no children, his legacy survives within and is preserved by the weathered timbers and aging beams which fashion Mabry Mill; while mirrored by the ancient waters that ever power the old mill is an abiding image of the self-sufficiency, perseverance, and honest, hard work of our ancestors.

Giving the guest a first-hand view of rural life at the turn of the twentieth century, Mabry Mill, a beautifully preserved historical site located on what is now the Blue Ridge Parkway, and operated by the National Park Service, is the destination of several hundred thousand visitors each year. The original horizontal millstones can still be seen, as well as the water-powered wheel that turned the stones, and the millrace that directed the water over the wheel.

When constructing his water powered mill, Edwin Boston Mabry could not have foreseen that it would become one of the most photographed locations in the United States.

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“The Mabry Mill in Autumn”
The Mabry Mill In Autumn
“Progress is the bud from which blooms Nostalgia”

Oil on Canvas        Dimensions: 16" x 20"        Price: $4,500.00 USD       

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Specifications:

Original Oil Painting
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Dimensions:
  • 16" x 20" or 406.4mm x 508.0mm (Height x Width)
Medium:
  • Oils on Fredrix, Ultra-Smooth, Acid-Free, Acrylic-Titanium Primed, Stretched Cotton Canvas
Technique:
  • Brushwork
Format:
  • Original Oil Painting
Framed/Unframed:
  • Unframed1
Quantity Available:
  • One2
Price:
  • $4,500.00
Shipping:
  • Complimentary when shipped to a destination within the USA
Artist Comments:
  • While, in an effort to appear erudite and sagacious, I could well aver that I was drawn to this scene by such nebulous and esoteric rationalizations as the obvious collocation of rejuvenation to deterioration, commerce to countryside, tumult and exertion to serenity and repose, the pragmatic industry of man to the benevolent creation of God, and/or the irony that that which was, in a generation yet represented, considered state-of-the-art is now relegated to historical curiosity, such is, alas, not the case. In truth, my reasons for painting “The Mabry Mill in Autumn” will appease neither the critic nor the intellectual. “The Mabry Mill in Autumn” is, in the not inconsiderable span of my life, a rarity of rarities in that I, without benefit of consultation or consensus, selected the subject of a painting for an utterly selfish motive—I was beguiled by the breathtakingly beautiful vista which lay before me.
Notes:
  • The photographic representations of "The Mabry Mill in Autumn," which are displayed in various locations throughout this site, were effected by means of a FujiFilm FinePix 2800 Zoom digital camera with a resolution setting of 640 x 480 pixels. Although we craved and, therefore, experimented with higher resolutions, the resulting page load times proved insufferable to all but the most resolute of our visitors.
Footnotes:
  • 1Inasmuch as frames are available in a virtually limitless diversity of compositions, descriptions, designs, and dimensions; that framing shops and specialists (genuine, fancied, and equivocal) abound; and that the framing of a painting is both a matter of individual sentiment as well as exceedingly subjective, I will not presume to interpose my opinion without the owner of the painting having bid me to so do. If thus invited, I will be pleased to proffer my personal intimations and counsel.
  • 2This is an original oil painting. As such, there can be only one.

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