A journey through Greenville’s historic landscape

By Jonathan Eggleston, RealWV

Hidden among the serene hills of Monroe County, West Virginia, lies a piece of history that has withstood the test of time!

Cook’s Old Mill is located on Route 122,  just ¼ mile west of Greenville. 

On a recent trip, I had the pleasure of uncovering this hidden gem, capturing some awesome photos that I’m excited to share with you! 

Built in 1857 on the original foundation of a mill constructed around 1796, Cook’s Old Mill is a mid-1800s gristmill that continues to captivate visitors. It stands as a historical treasure on the Farm Heritage Road, one of Monroe County’s Scenic Byways. 

The mill, along with its dam, pond and stream, spans 3 ½ acres and The National Registry of Historic Places describes this place as an important community hub, built with massive hand made wooden posts and beams,  serving as a gathering place for the local community.

The mill is now a privately owned, park-like venue managed by Fred and Barbara Ziegler. They have graciously opened this historical site to visitors and history buffs.

The park invites travelers to wander, take pictures, have a picnic, fish in the pond, or simply soak up the history. Information is provided on bulletin boards at the park and their website, and the mill can be opened on request if the owners are available.

As I approached the mill, the first thing that struck me was the tranquil beauty of its surroundings. The quiet hills of Greenville provide a perfect backdrop that seems almost frozen in a bygone era. The mill itself offers a sense of nostalgia that transports visitors back to simpler times.

Another enchanting feature is the moss-covered wooden bridge around the back. This charming bridge, surrounded by lush green moss, arches gracefully over a gentle stream and is a spot that seems to be made for photography. The combination of the bridge and the history of the surrounding landscape creates a unique setting that’s perfect for capturing the essence of rural West Virginia.

During my visit, I took full advantage of this picturesque spot. The light that peeked through the trees illuminated the bridge and the surrounding plants and each photo seemed to tell a story of its own, and I am so glad that places like this can still be found in these hidden corners of our state.

Exploring this site offered not just an opportunity to appreciate its beauty, but also a chance to connect with the past in a meaningful way.

For those looking to discover some of West Virginia’s best natural landmarks, a visit to Cook’s Old Mill in Greenville is an absolute must!  It’s a place where history and nature combine,  offering a serene escape.  And for photographers, it’s a perfect place for capturing the timeless beauty of the Appalachian landscape!

In the coming months, I’ll be sharing more stories and photos from my journeys across West Virginia, uncovering the hidden treasures that make our state so  special. Stay tuned for more adventures as we continue to explore and celebrate the natural and historical wonders that lie off the beaten path.

(For those interested in visiting Cook’s Old Mill, you can contact Fred and Barbara Ziegler at 304-832-6060 or via email at frednbarbara@frontier.com.)

Please be respectful and leave no trace!

Jonathan Eggleston is a freelance photographer and writer who specializes in professional portrait,  nature, landscape and astro-photography. This article is part of a series exploring some of West Virginia’s most beautiful natural landmarksAll pictures are his.


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