Not much has changed in 100 years, and that’s a good thing
Built in 1922 by L.Edward Bradley Sr., this old barn houses a grist mill which has been grinding corn for the store and local farming community for 92 years. Bradley offered custom corn milling to local farmers and sharecroppers on Saturdays as his was the only mill in the area. People would bring their corn by horse drawn wagon from miles to Bradley’s Grist Mill; it became known locally as ‘Corn Grindin’ Saturday.’
[Mr. L.E. Bradley (right) standing in front of Bradley’s Country Store in 1930 with Edward Bradley (left)]
Shortly after, his country store began selling these grits which were known for their extra coarse grain, which takes longer to cook, but produces corn grits with much more robust flavor. Although the building has remained in continuous use since its opening, it fell in to a state of disrepair over the years.
[Bradley’s Grist Mill before restoration- 1976; picture courtesy and property of the State Archives of Florida– Dorothy Dodd photographer]
(Check out pictures of the place just before restoration in 2011 on this blog)
But in 2012, the Bradley Family and other families from the area banned together to restore the building to what you see today. And because they did, nearly 100 years later, you can still get Bradley’s Country Mill Grits made in the same way for more than 3 generations. Hopefully this beautiful old place has many more generations to go, thanks to the restoration efforts of the community.
[Bradley’s Grist Mill & Country Store– Felkel/Bradley, FL Leon County]