Southern Matters

Southern Matters

Arnold Brogdon (Nashville, Georgia)

Arnold Brogdon is enough to convince you that syrup makers are interesting folks. Although he is outfitted to make syrup/blend commercially, as he did in the past, he only does it on a hobby basis now. He has a large poultry operation and, when I visited, his spare time was spent building his house. For most folks, building a house means hiring an architect and a contractor. For Arnold, it means taking a chain saw to the woods and dragging the logs out to a sawmill set up on site. It seems that he recognizes just about every board, some of which have had previous relationships in other buildings Arnold owns.

Visiting Arnold was a great deal of fun, which I owe to my late mother's brother, Herbert Watson, and his daughter-in-law, Joanna. Arnold's operation is the epitome of a family farm, where he works with his wife, Janie, a high-school classmate of mine, and their son.


Chattanooga No.92, perhaps the largest mill I have seen on an individual's private operation, is the center of Arnold's operation (Slides 1, 2, and 3). Winston Brogdon provides perspective. This mill is coupled to a pto, which runs a pneumatic tire, similar to the Alton Rowan mill.


Slides 4 and 5 show the inside of Arnold's syrup shed. The juice moves from the Chattanooga mill to a large storage tank by the two kettles. After the syrup is cooked off, it is taken to a stainless steel bottling tank in an adjacent room.


Slides 6 and 7 are a motorized Chattanooga No.44, which is not being used.


Slides 8 and 9 are a mill made by Geo. L. Squier of Buffalo, NY. Squier made a number of mills (see Ken's Catalog Pages), but this one had no further identifying marks on it. This mill has style, as you note from the uprights. Unfortunately, Arnold had no interest in parting with it.


Slides 10 and 11 are of two-roller mill marked VMC # 0, Valdosta, Georgia. Arnold stands by the mill for perspective. This mill is almost identical to the QFM # 14, made in Quitman, Georgia, which is perhaps 15 miles from Valdosta.