Kerr Mill

Mill ToursKerr Mill building with fence and road around the property

The mill is located at Sloan Park and is open to the public select weekends and special events for tours. Teachers can call 704-637-7776 and make reservations for school group tours. There is no fee. 


  • 1701 - John Lawson, Surveyor General of the Province of North Carolina, declared he has seen no other land that exceeds the land of Rowan County.
  • 1749 - The Cathey settlement is established on the headwaters of Second Creek by James Cathey.
  • 1753 -  Rowan County is Established and land is deeded to the congregation for "ye lower meeting house." Later to become Thyatira Presbyterian Church.
  • 1762 -  Millbridge community is settled.
  • 1794 - Doctor Samuel McCorkle opened the Zion Parnassus Academy, the first normal school in the United States, near Thyatira Church.
  • 1823 -  Joseph Kerr constructs Kerr Mill on his 1,500-acre plantation located between Sills and Cathey’s Creeks.
  • 1861 to 1865 -  Doctor Samuel Kerr, son of Joseph Kerr, strongly supports the Confederacy and by the end of the war, Dr. Kerr was destroyed financially.
  • 1865 to 1872 - Kerr Mill operates on a small scale to serve the needs of the small group of tenant farmers who were working the run-down and neglected fields of the Kerr Plantation.
  • 1872 - James Samuel McCubbins purchases 593 acres, the Kerr Mansion, and the mill for $8,140.
  • 1876 - James McCubbins operates Kerr Mill using an undershot wheel which was fed by a long mill race and canal.
  • 1887 - McCubbins and his partner, John Harrison, complete retooling of Kerr Mill to a roller mill powered by a steam engine.
  • 1895 - John W. Page acquires complete title to Kerr Mill.
  • 1900 - Pleasant Owen Tatum purchases the mill from John Page and operates the mill until 1908.
  • 1908 - James Wiseman Sloan purchases Kerr Mill for $3,000.
  • 1925 - Kerr Mill is now powered by a Bessemer diesel engine.
  • 1927 - James W. Sloan sells Kerr Mill to his nephew, James Andrew Sloan, for "one dollar and other valuable considerations."