Friends of Horton hold golf tourney

Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Friends of Henry Horton representatives from left are, Ranger Brad Halfacre, Teresa Dugger, Leanne Higdon, Stacey Cothran, Rob Dugger, Pat Stewart and Ranger Ryan Jenkins. Photos by Anthony S. Puca

The Friends of Henry Horton (FOHH), in cooperation with the staff at Henry Horton State Park are taking on the dream of rebuilding the Wilhoite Mill on the shores of the ecologically significant and beautiful Duck River.

On Friday, the FOHH hosted its annual golf outing at the Buford Ellington Golf Course at Henry Horton State Park to help with the cause and after a short rain delay; the golfers took to the links.

Top finishers

First State Bank took home first place, winning on a match of cards after a tie with First Commerce Bank. From left are the First State Bank Team of Ryan Sweeney, Brian Holcomb, Matt Morehead and TJ Tipps, standing in for Jacob Daughrity.

The First State Bank Team of Ryan Sweeney, Brian Holcomb, Matt Morehead and Jacob Daughrity won the event, shooting a 13-under par round of 59.

In second place, tied with an identical 59 was the First Commerce Bank team of David Delk, TJ Tipps, Ryan Perryman and Anthony Puca, who lost out on a match of cards.

Travis Massey won the closest to the pin competition on the par 3, eighth hole at the Buford Ellington Golf Course at Henry Horton State Park, Robert Bistolfi won the putting contest and Larry Godbey won the long drive competition at the tournament.

Robert Bistolfi won the putting contest at the tournament.

Past and future

The purpose of the project is to tell the story of the Wilhoite Mill and the milling culture on the Duck River that is being lost with the passage of time. At one time the Duck River had more mills using its waters than any other river in Tennessee.

The FOHH has enlisted help from several civic groups and organizations to help garner community support for the project.

Travis Massey won the closest to the pin completion on the par 3, eighth hole at the Buford Ellington Golf Course at Henry Horton State Park.

The FOHH has hired James Thompson with Centric Architecture to create draft plans and to move forward with the architectural study of the building.

Centric Architecture specializes in historical architecture renovation and recreation and is the perfect fit for the Rebuild the Mill project at Henry Horton State Park.

Working mill

The FOHH has recently obtained a draft drawing of the mill that includes retention ponds to make the water wheel run, and a section of the building created for a museum.

The mill will be operational when completed and will be one of the few working gristmills in Tennessee.

Park Ranger Ryan Jenkins, along with the owner of Centric Architecture, and two local historians, Pat Stewart and Joe Brooks, took a trip to Ottway Mill in Greenville, TN.

The owner of Ottway Mill is interested in selling the milling equipment she owns to the Friends of Henry Horton State Park for the purpose of historical recreation.

The group traveled to three other operational mills in Tennessee to study how they are working.

Final plans

On July 30 the FOHH will be meeting with leaders from Tennessee State Parks to lay out plans for the mill rebuild and to receive the final go ahead for the project.

The funds for the rebuilding of the Wilhoite Mill will be raised fully by the FOHH and although this seems like a daunting task, our mindset continues to follow an old saying that says, "What is the purpose of having a vision if you do nothing to follow it."

Henry Horton State Park and the FOHH will see the Wilhoite Mill to fruition and will add a long needed attraction to the park and to Marshall County.

If you have questions about the Rebuild the Wilhoite Mill project or would like to donate funds please contact Park Ranger Ryan Jenkins at ryan.jenkins@tn.gov.