There are several sources of inspiration for this little mini-story. A couple people have already mentioned the legendary movie, Kiki’s Delivery Service, but that’s a topic for another post. Today I want to mention how much I love old mills.
The millers mill, as seen in the first illustration (in part 1), is based off the Burwell-Morgan Mill in the little town of Millwood, Virginia. It’s a beautiful stone mill building that was restored through the help of a twice-yearly art show. (I participated one year, though I failed to sell even one painting). It’s a magical place, and wonderful for sketching. The most amazing thing of all is to go into the mill and look at the enormous wheel and complicated, interconnecting gears. All the parts are made of wood and leather. A machine like that, run by water, is incredibly powerful and unsettlingly quiet. It demands respect.
The Burwell-Morgan Mill still grinds grain on weekends. My wife, Anna, has taken wheat there for grinding. It's not just a great homeschool adventure, but a good way to get stone ground flour.
If you look closely at the illustration of the miller mixing the dough, you’ll see I went ahead and gave him the family name of Clarke. Because the Burwell-Morgan mill is in Clarke county and because just recently I found this:
Which sure seems to fit our story.