Meridian, MS, Part II: Dunn's Falls
The day after we toured the historic homes in downtown Meridian was another beautiful fall day, so we decided to drive about 20 miles south to Enterprise, MS, to visit Dunn's Falls. Dunn's Falls is part of the Pat Harrison Waterway District, which is a state agency that provides recreational opportunities along the rivers in southeastern and east-central Mississippi.
Dunn's Falls is the site of a mill built in the late 1850s by a young Irish immigrant by the name of John Dunn. The 65-foot waterfall that cascaded over the bluff to the Chunky River below provided a good power source for the three-story cotton mill. Dunn's original mill no longer exists, but the 1857 Carroll-Richardson grist mill was moved to the site from Springs, GA, in 1987. The photo below shows water wheel with the Carroll-Richardson mill to the right.
When the Civil War broke out, and the new Confederate government confiscated Dunn's mill and put it to work under Dunn's supervision making blankets, knives and hats for the South's war effort. John Stetson practiced his hat-making trade at Dunn's mill for a time. After the war, the mill was converted to make flour. Inside the mill, you can see some of the millstones and bins that were transported to the site along with the Carroll-Richardson mill.
The mill changed hands several times after the war before it collapsed into the river below. No one is sure what happened to John Dunn, but one account we saw said he died in 1904.
The park at Dunn's Falls has a pond where you can fish and rent paddle boats. There is also primitive tent camping, a cabin to rent and hiking. We decided to take advantage of the nice fall day and do a little hiking. We started with the steep steps that go down to the river.
From below you can get a nice view of the river. Although swimming is not recommended, you can canoe on the river.
There is also a good view of the falls and the mill above. Unfortunately, there has been a drought in the southeast, and the flow over the falls is very low.
Back at the top of the steps, we headed off down the path to the primitive camping area. While the leaves had not yet begun to show much color this far south, a few leaves had fallen providing a nice crunch underfoot and the smell of fall in the air. It was a nice, quiet walk in the woods.
After our hike, we headed back to the motor home for the rest of the afternoon. We had another day to relax in Meridian before we continued on our way south. Our next stop was in familiar territory at the Escapees' Rainbow Plantation in Summerdale, AL.