North Little Rock, Arkansas: Old Mill Park - Concrete Wood

Every wooden thing in this park and around Pugh's Mill -- except for the vegetation -- is actually fake wood made of cement by a secretive Mexican artist. An old post card advises us: "Textured in minutest detail as to deceive the closest observer."

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Pughs Mill - Gone with the Wind

Pugh's Mill was featured in the first few seconds of Gone With the Wind. I had always wanted to visit and photograph this mill. We were fortunate enough to be there before someone set it on fire.

[Angela, 03/31/2009]
Cement sculpted log bridge. Old Mill Park (Pugh's Mill)

We visited this park on our recent vacation thanks to Roadside America's pointing it out! It seems to be officially referred to as "Old Mill" park (that's what the blue signs pointing you to it say at least) - but we did notice a sign when we were at the park that says "Pugh's Mill" (seems the park founder named the mill after a friend of his). Someone was taking wedding portraits while we were there -- nice day, very beautiful spot.

[Brenda Mondragon, 01/08/2005]
Old Mill building. Old Mill Park (Pugh's Mill)

Pugh's Mill Park [The Old Mill Park] was built in 1933 by Justin Matthews. The mill was designed to appear as if it been built in 1800s Arkansas and features sculptures by the famous Mexican artist Senor Dionicio Rodriguez (1893-1955). The Mill is made largely from tinted concrete applied over steel and copper foundations and made to represent wood, iron, and stone. Rodriguez, who spoke no English, was very secretive about his plaster techniques. He called his art "el trabajo rustico" -- rustic work. He lived in San Antonio, TX and his work can be found throughout that city, including the pagoda-like entry gate to the Japanese Sunken Gardens, park benches and a covered foot bridge in Brackenridge Park. His San Antonio work was commissioned by Charles Baumberger, president of the San Antonio Portland Cement Company. Rodriguez also created the Crystal Shrine Grotto in Memphis. His sculptures are now considered rare works of art. Pugh's Mill can be seen briefly in the opening scenes of the 1939 movie classic Gone With The Wind.

[Mark Lessing, 08/30/2003]
Distorted cement sculpted into a bridge. Old Mill Park (Pugh's Mill)

About 7 miles north of town, there's a park, Old Mill Park, that has an old stone millhouse surrounded by a garden and a millpond. In the garden there are benches hewn from trees, a gazebo made from twining vines, a beautiful arching stone and wood bridge, wooden plank walkways, and a beam sticking out of the house with rope and pulley. Except for the stones in the house and the flowers, everything you see is made from cement! And yet it's so realistic even touching it doesn't always convince you. Luckily there are strategic spots where the rebar shows. Even the rope and pulley are made of cement! I was told by someone at the visitors bureau that this pond was used in the opening sequence in Gone With The Wind. It's quite unusual. Several times while passing through Arkansas I've gone out of my way to see it.

[Carol Walker, 06/20/1998]

Hmmm. We have an old postcard of a park with fake wood made of concrete. "Textured in minutest detail as to deceive the closest observer." It's called Pugh's Mill Park.

Old Mill Park - Concrete Wood

Lakeshore Drive, North Little Rock, AR
On the north side of Lakeshore Drive just east of Fairway Ave.
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March 31, 2015

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