South Carolina Picture Project
South Carolina Picture Project

Woodward Mill — Ruby, South Carolina

SC Picture Project  |  Chesterfield County  |  Woodward Mill

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Woodward Mill

This old mill in Chesterfield County is known as Woodward Mill and was once used to grind corn. The water beneath it served as a swimming hole for locals to use while they waited for the corn to be processed. The mill is still owned by the Claude Oliver family and stands on private property.

Woodward Mill

Theresa Borgeson of Conway, 2018 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Photographer James Jenkins included some interesting history about this structure: “For as long as I can remember, and I am 77, this site has been referred to as Woodward Mill. As far back as I can recall, the Claude Oliver family operated the mill. Mr. Oliver was one of the first people I recall in Chesterfield County who had an airplane. He also dug wells, or ‘put in’ wells with a contraption that he constructed, which drove a pointed rod into the ground by dropping a weight on the rod.

Woodward Mill

James (Jim) Jenkins of Chesterfield, 2013 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

“When I was a young teenager, we carried corn to the mill and swam and fished while waiting for the corn to be ground. It was always a treat to visit the mill. The property is still owned by Mike Oliver, Mr. Claude’s son. It is posted for safety’s sake meaning that [permission is needed before accessing the property]. These photos were taken from the bridge below the spillway. I love to take these old structures that are rapidly fading from the scene.”

Woodward Mill Info

Address: Woodward Mill Road, Ruby, SC 29741
GPS Coordinates: 34.687844,-80.234268

Woodward Mill Map

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18 Comments about Woodward Mill

Mitchell Jordan says:
September 3rd, 2019 at 8:31 am

So many memories. Caught my first “Jack” fish in the water below the mill fishing from the bank. I was baptised there about 1955. I have been told told that my uncle, Robert Threadgill, jumped out of the mill window into the pond and a large nail went thru his foot. My granddaddy, Jesse Threadgill, had to go in and pull him out. I grew up on Highway 268, a few miles from Woodward Mill.

James Bohannon says:
February 3rd, 2019 at 3:07 pm

When I was a teen age boy in the late 50’s, I went there with my best friend Larry Stoud. His grandfather Robert Vaughan built a block one room house on his land up the hill, and we would camp out there and go swim in the pond and fish below the mill.

Cathy Parker says:
January 29th, 2019 at 12:43 pm

I grew up just one house over from the mill pond.

Barbara Driggers says:
February 2nd, 2018 at 3:49 pm

I have fond memories of Woodward Mill, my dad took corn there to be ground, I played & fished while the corn was ground, caught my first fish there.

January 12th, 2018 at 6:06 pm

Spent many summers at this old mill with my cousins Jerry and Ronnie Wilkerson fishing, swimming and many other things.

Judy Gulledge Tomlinson says:
March 8th, 2017 at 1:39 pm

I grew up just up the road from the mill and went there often with my dad to get corn ground into mill. It was a place where all the local kids hung out to play in the water. It was the place to go to get a cold drink and candy bar! I rode my bike there often. So many memories.

Robert Woodward says:
February 27th, 2017 at 9:14 am

My mom and dad took us there when we were kids. We picnicked and took pictures. This was a beautiful place. My mom and dad were born and raised in Chesterfield. My mom was a Teal ;she was one of the Daughters of the late Luther and Rosie Teal. My Dad was one of the sons from the late Bunion Woodward and Mary Ellen Brook Woodward of Chesterfield. Also, I worked with my Grand Dad Luther and Uncle Buddy Teal on the farm. I miss them both. Great people.

Billie Lisenby Sikes says:
January 29th, 2017 at 7:11 pm

Some of my favorite childhood memories were when my daddy, Bill Lisenby, took children and a load of corn by mule and wagon out to Woodward’s Mill to have it ground into feed for our farm animals. It was an exciting day.

Tim Steen says:
January 29th, 2017 at 12:54 pm

Lots of memories of this place. I grew up about half mile up Black Creek from the old mill house, been there many times. I never saw this mill run, but I can remember the one that came later but is no longer there. I used to fish back there behind the mill house, and catch those beautiful Red Breast and Warmouth, many wonderful memories, and I’m proud to be from Woodward Mill, SC. Thanks for the pic.

Mark Roth says:
January 29th, 2017 at 11:38 am

I am from North Platte, NE. I have been to the mill several times and went swimming there also. My mom was from the area, and as kids we visited almost every year. Lots of memories there.

Doris Oliver Nolan says:
January 29th, 2017 at 8:54 am

I remember visiting the mill as a child. My brother and I played as our grandpa had corn ground into corn meal. My grandma would turn the cornmeal into a delicious meal, mixed with milk at night for a treat. We also played in the water and on one visit, my cousin and I “accidentally on purpose” fell in. I remember my uncle being very upset. I took my son on his first fishing trip there in 1985, he was 5 years old. He caught his first fish there, what we used to call jack fish. I have fond memories spent there all of my life.

Brad Bird says:
February 27th, 2016 at 1:28 pm

I’m told my grandfather Charles P. Campbell (1884-1972) of Ruby would drive his wagon of corn to this mill (when others were closer). My research along with his stories has convinced me that his childhood was spent on the Campbell Little Black Creek homestead at this location in the 18th/19th centuries and shown on land plats in 1808,1822 and the Hall survey map of 1825.

Linda Barbee Hilton says:
May 20th, 2014 at 8:11 pm

Sweet memories of times spent as a small child visiting Granny Susie and Granddaddy Bob. I remember my daddy swinging from the tree on a tire swing and falling in the pond. He dried the contents of his billfold on the fireplace mantle in the front room. I also remember him taking tubs of the white sand home for us to play in. I can still remember waking to the smell of cornbread baking in granny’s wood stove (sadly the early morning cornbread was mixed with milk and grease and then fed to the dogs). It was fun to go to the pump outside the kitchen window to pump water for Granny. We watched the chickens pecking under the house from the edge of our pallet while we were supposed to be napping and hoped the adults didn’t hear our giggles.

Bobbie Atkinson Lander says:
May 19th, 2014 at 8:53 pm

So many memories at this old mill…..if only the walls could talk!!! Loved going to visit my Granny Susie, sleeping on pallets on the floor, being with all the animals…….hearing all the stories my Daddy told me….esp. the one of his first ice cream cone, the old mule & wagon ….. many memories died with those who lived around the mill. Uncle Bud used to dive from the tree and hide so they’d think he had drowned!!! Live on memories!!!

Elaine Atkinson Vincoli says:
May 19th, 2014 at 2:20 pm

I loved going to Granny’s Susie house in the summer. My aunt, Shirley Ann, and I would go to the Mill and sit to eat lemon cookies and drink sweet tea. I saw my first water moccasin snake there. They were wonderful times.

Myra Atkinson Clark says:
May 19th, 2014 at 1:21 pm

My favorite memories of growing up were at this mill. Loved visiting my Grandma and Grandpa Atkinson during the summers. The wagons of corn would come by the house to the mill. Can still hear the sounds of the mill.

March 30th, 2014 at 1:01 pm

My dad, Bob Atkinson, operated the mill and I was born at Woodward Mill…..We were the last millers at the mill….I love that place…..I fished and swam in the pond behind the mill house and got my first kiss left of the mill house, from a young man from Mt. Croghan, S.C. Just a wonderful place, and I know Mike Oliver…Look at door..all us.

Margene Odom says:
July 25th, 2013 at 7:57 am

This wonderful photo conjures memories of “The Old Mill Stream” song of long ago. Is it grand that Mr. Jenkins and others are looking for and preserving these visions of our American past.


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