Kenan’s Mill

Visitor Guide, Kenan's Mill Festival hayrideKenan’s Mill was built in the mid 1800′s and produced water-ground meal, grits and corn for over 100 years.  The grounds also include a fascinating 19th Century brick charcoal kiln.  Kenan’s Mill was built and continuously owned by the Kenan family until Elizabeth Kenan Buchanan donated it to the Historic Society in 1997.  Restoration is ongoing, and the mill is currently operating on special occasions by the Selma-Dallas County Historic Preservation Society.  Kenan’s Mill is a great place to hold your wedding, party, or special occasion.  For complete Rental Information, please click here and for the Photography Policy, please click here.

The Kenan’s Mill Festival will not be held in 2017.

For more info on the mill, please click here.

nov-7-2009-kenans-mill-036A celebration of rural life and traditions in the Black Belt of Alabama took place at historic Kenan’s Mill outside Selma, Alabama, on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016.  The 15th annual Kenan’s Mill Festival featured live music from The Grasshopper String Band and Jesse James Crowe, stone-ground cornmeal and grits, arts and crafts vendors and children’s activities.

km-awardsThe 2016 fall festival on the banks of Valley Creek featured mill tours, a tractor-pulled hayride and Old Mac’s Farm train ride.  Old-fashioned games such as three-legged and sack races as well as face painting was enjoyed by all.

apple ciderEveryone tasted delicious samples of homemade apple cider made by Robert Gordon on an old-fashioned screw-type press.  Volunteers from Selma Purrrfect Pals, a non-profit cat rescue in Dallas County,  had adoptable cats and kittens.  Wannabe Rescued, a non-profit dog rescue in Dallas County, was there to raise money and awareness for their worthy rescue mission.

2016 Highlights:

Duncan Hope, SDCHPS president, announced, “We are excited that the music for this year’s Kenan’s Mill Festival will be provided by local artists:  The Grasshopper String Band and Jesse James Crowe.

grasshoppers-2The Blackbelt Region of Alabama encompasses 18 counties across the central area of the state and is named for the dark, rich soil that is unique to the area. There is a rich history of Blackbelt artisans. But possibly the most noted group of expressionists to emerge from the area has been its musicians including The Commodores, Jimmie Rogers, Nat King Cole, Hank Williams, a list far too extensive to complete. Today, on any given evening, on any given back porch, the tradition continues as folk music plays such a large part in the everyday lives of Blackbelt residents. The Grasshopper String Band is proud to be able to bring a small piece of this culture to you.

The Grasshopper String Band from Selma, Alabama is a high energy Country band that plays Party, Classic Rock, Southern Rock, Motown/Oldies and Variety songs. The Grasshopper String Band of Alabama is proud to be able to share with you a piece of the Alabama Blackbelt’s musical tradition. Band members are Barry Surrett, Chip Spencer, Reid Surrett and V.K. Spencer.

jjc2A newcomer to Kenan’s Mill Festival was Valley Grande’s own singer, guitarist and songwriter Jesse James Crowe. Jesse entertained the crowd by playing some old country, blues, and boogie woogie.

km-sonnys-canesWe welcomed new miller Victor Shaw, who had the mill back in action once again.  Visitors saw the wheels turn and took home stone-ground cornmeal and grits. A “beehive” kiln was a short walk across the swinging bridge, and vendors with handmade arts and crafts were invited to bring their wares and set up between 7:30 and 9 a.m. No vendor fee was charged, but donations to the SDCHPS were appreciated.

food truckOnce again, lunch and concessions were available on site. Brunswick stew, hot dogs, sides, sweets and drinks were purchased all day at The Vittles Wagon.

kmf-hayride“Join us for a trip back to the way life used to be in The Black Belt,” said committee member Judy McPhillips. “Bring your whole family and your lawn chairs to spend the day.” Hay bales were scattered about for extra seating. Handicapped restrooms and parking were also available, and there was a wheelchair ramp at the mill house.

hillsideLive music started by 10 am and went until 2 pm.  Admission was just $5 per person 12 and over and $2 for children 11 and under.  No further charge for rides (hayride, train, etc.).  Food, drinks and crafts were sold.

km-boysOnly service animals allowed.  No pets.

Gates were open from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.  Selma is located 50 miles west of Montgomery on U.S. 80 and 90 miles south of Birmingham on Alabama 22. It can also be reached via Alabama 14 just a 45-minute drive west of Prattville.  (Click here for directions)  The mill road entrance is about a mile north of Selma on Summerfield Road (County Road 37). Turn right onto a gravel road across the Valley Creek bridge past the City of Valley Grande sign.

For more information, visit our Facebook page or call 334-412-0722. Sponsored by the Selma-Dallas County Historic Preservation Society, Kenan’s Mill Festival began in 2002.

Hayride BT house hill

A Brief History

Kenan’s Mill was built in the mid 1800’s and produced water-ground meal, grits and corn for over 100 years.  The grounds also include a fascinating 19th Century brick charcoal kiln.  Kenan’s Mill was built and continuously owned by the Kenan family until Elizabeth Kenan Buchanan donated it to the Historic Society in 1997.  Restoration is ongoing, and the mill is currently operating on special occasions by the Selma-Dallas County Historic Preservation Society.

The pictuesque Kenan’s Mill property is available for parties, meetings, weddings, receptions, reunions and more.  For complete Rental Information, please click here and for the new Photography Policy, please click here.