John Wesley Gristmill
The John Wesley Hall Grist Mill and Cotton Gin operated at this site from 1867 to 1931. It was the successor to one of Alabama's earliest grist mills located a mile west on Mill Creek. The original mill was torched by Union Troops during the Civil War. Hall’s Mill was rebuilt in 1976 and today grinds out corn meal sold in the Country Store. The grist mill dam is an interesting spot for tourists and fishermen alike as is the Tapawingo Iron Truss Bridge (1902).
The Pioneer Farm, located alongside Mill Creek near Farley Field, is a collection of 19th and 20th Century farm buildings and the site of the park’s working blacksmith shop. A number of the structures are from the George Stewart Farm which was located near Maplesville in Chilton County. It was also designed to house a number of early day farm implements donated by Dr. H. C. Springer of Bessemer. The site also includes a sorghum mill, smoke house, gear shed and corn crib. The oldest building in the park, a milk storage building dating to 1822, is also located here.
The park’s headquarters finds a home in the 1879 Edwards House, once the home of one of Trussville’s first physicians, Dr. John Spearman Edwards. Abandoned for many years as a ghost house along Highway 11, it was moved into the park in 1993 and fully restored. The two-story vernacular-style farm house also serves as a welcome center.
May Plantation Cotton Gin
The May Plantation Gin House, located behind the museum, dates to 1858. It was moved into the park in 1991 from its original location near Knoxville in Greene County. It houses cotton ginning equipment including a rare 1881 Gullette gin head with feeder and condenser. The gin house utilized mules or horses to turn its machinery beneath the structure.