Hagood Mill – Gospel Revue

The wheel will be turning and the hills resounding in song at Hagood Mill on Saturday, August 19, as we host an old-time gospel sing-along. Bring your lawn chair or blanket and be prepared to belt out all the familiar old gospel songs with our heritage singers.

For 200 years, Appalachian gospel music has been a staple within Upcountry musical traditions. BLACK GOSPEL is an explosive part of this genre but often can be enjoyed only within the sanctuary of the traditional Black church. This notion will be laid to rest at Hagood Mill on Saturday, August 19.

In a high-energy presentation, Hagood Mill will feature theMinister Faye Harris Family Gospel Band from Easley, South Carolina. Faye received rave reviews for her performance at the celebrated “New Harmonies” traveling exhibition concert series a few years ago. That concert series was sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution at Southern Wesleyan University. You don’t want to miss the opportunity to come out and enjoy this high-energy gospel treat.

Other performers include Mountain Bridge, a Gospel Bluegrass band steeped in traditional music. These musicians truly love the music they play, and it shows. Chad Simpson and Josh Johnson lead Mountain Bridge, with Chad singing lead vocals and playing rhythm guitar and Josh Johnson on tenor vocals and fiddle. This band is filled out by one of the tightest bluegrass rhythm sections around.

Rounding out the entertainment menu will be a rousing performance by Lib Porter singing old time piano & autoharp gospel songs from the primitive white mountain church tradition and Derrick Phillips, one of the Upcountry’s most dynamic folk singers.


We have a special guest, a retiree from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) coming into town for the Solar Eclipse, and he will be joining us at Hagood Mill on August 19. Mike O’Neal, a 31-year veteran of NASA at the Kennedy Space Center, was awarded the agency’s Outstanding Leadership Medal and two Exceptional Service Medals. Among other duties, he served as Deputy Director of the Space Station Hardware Integration Office, Deputy Director of the Space Station Engineering Directorate, and Leader of the Exploration Think Tank. He speaks professionally on the role of spirituality in human space flight and is the author of An Angel’s View: Encountering God Through the Stories of the Heavenly Hosts and Holy God, Holy People. Take the opportunity to visit with a former NASA employee and hear some of his amazing stories. Mike’s current book will be available for purchase throughout the day.


The gristmill and other demonstrations will be running from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.


As always, we encourage visitors to bring their favorite old-time instruments and join in the open jam, which takes place throughout the day under the ancient cedar beside our beloved 1791 log house.

There is a $5 parking fee for the day, but admission is FREE to the Hagood Mill Site as well as the Hagood Creek Petroglyph Site. All proceeds from parking help offset the costs at Hagood Mill.

So pack up the car, head on out, and don’t forget to bring a lawn chair or blanket.


There will be lots of other things to see on August 19 as Hagood Mill hosts a variety of folk-life and traditional-arts demonstrations. There will be demonstrations of blacksmithing, bowl-digging, flint knapping, chair-caning, moonshining, broom-making, basketmaking, pottery, quilting, spinning, knitting, weaving, wood-carving, metalsmithing, leatherworking, beekeeping and more! You can ask questions of the artists and make purchases of their Traditional Arts to take home.

The Centerpiece of the Hagood Mill historic site is the water-powered 1845 gristmill. It is one of the finest examples of nineteenth century technology in the Upcountry and operates just as it has for the last century and a half. In the old mill, fresh stone-ground cornmeal, grits, and wheat flour will be available. In addition, rye flour, Basmati rice flour, oat flour, oatmeal, popping-corn meal and grits, organic yellow cornmeal and grits, and buckwheat flour are often produced and may be in stock. Hagood Mill cookbooks and a variety of other mill related items are also available.

It’s going to be a great day! So, head on out, share a picnic, or grab a plate of great food on site and enjoy a special and memorable day at the Hagood Mill.

The Hagood Mill Historic Site is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. all year long, and it operates, rain or shine, for a special folklife festival the third Saturday of every month.

The Hagood Mill is located just three miles north of Pickens off Highway 178 or 5½ miles south of Cherokee Foothills Scenic Hwy 11, just off Highway 178 at 138 Hagood Mill Road.


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