Georgie Young teaches cooking classes featuring menus from France, Italy, and the American South in her home adjacent to Wade's Mill.
When the weather cooperates, Georgie's cooking classes end with an elegant repast under the trees in her front yard.
Even if you don't have time for a cooking class with Georgie, you can still enjoy the mill. Jim often grinds his grains on Monday and Tuesday. They close to the public for safety reasons then, but if you're lucky, he'll have the 21-foot waterwheel going. The mill was built in 1742 by one of the area's first Scotch-Irish settlers. On the second floor, the date July 11, 1771, is etched into the wall along with other ancient graffiti. Just looking at those dates fills Jim with a sense of pride and accomplishment he never felt in Washington. "We've worked to continue a 250-year-old tradition," he says. "That's what satisfies me."
Wade's Mill: 55 Kennedy-Wade's Mill, Raphine, VA 24472; (540) 348-1400 or www.wadesmill.com. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, 1-5 p.m. Sunday, April through the Sunday before Christmas. Cooking classes range $25-$50. Directions: Get off I-81 at Exit 205. Travel west about 4 miles on State 606. Look for the Wade's Mill sign.
Wade's Mill adjoins the property occupied by Buffalo Springs Herb Farm where owners Don Haynie and Tom Hamlin plant an amazing garden. They harvest the blooms, hang them in the top of their red valley bank barn, then use them to create amazingly beautiful wreaths, door swags, and baskets. Visitors can stroll the gardens, peruse the gift shop, or sign up for one of the workshops or lectures. Call (540) 348-1083, or visit www.buffaloherbs.com.
Why not plan a short drive through the country as you're traveling on I-81 in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley? If you're headed south, get off I-81 at Exit 205 (Raphine/Steele's Tavern), and follow State 606 to the intersection of State 39/42. Continue south until you reach U.S. 11; then follow the signs to I-81.
If you're headed north, it's a little more complicated. Get off I-81 at Exit 191. This puts you on I-64. Go about 1 mile, and take Exit 55 onto U.S. 11. Reverse the previous directions, and get back on I-81 at Exit 205.
MORE SHENANDOAH SURPRISES
- Rockbridge Vineyard, Raphine; 1-888-511-9463 or www.rockbridgevineyard.com
- Buffalo Springs Herb Farm, next to Wade's Mill; (540) 348-1083 or www.buffaloherbs.com
- Orchardside Yarn Shop, Raphine; (540) 348-5220, 1-877-648-9276, or www.oysyarnshop.com
- Old South Antiques, Ltd., Brownsburg, (540) 348-5360 or www.oldsthantiques.com
This article is from the September 2004 issue of Southern Living. Because prices, dates, and other specifics are subject to change, please check all information to make sure it's still current before making your travel plans.