McGalliard Falls Park has been a favorite gathering place for Valdese citizens and visitors alike for over a century. The Meytre Grist Mill was originally built in 1906 to serve the Waldensian community populating the area by grinding up their corn and wheat by Fred Meytre. A large flood in 1916 obliterated the original water wheel and the mill then changed to turbine power. The Meytre Grist Mill was closed in the early 1940’s as the original owner aged and could not operate it alone, as the community’s young men had been called to fight in WWII.
The mill is located next to McGalliard Falls which is a 40 foot high waterfall with a beauty rating of 6 out of 10 for North Carolina waterfalls. The mill was rebuilt when McGalliard Falls Park was created in 1982. Most recently, the Meytre Grist Mill has served as a favorite backdrop for family photos and a reminder of yesteryear.
The waterwheel was replaced in 2016 after a tree damaged the previous wheel beyond repair. The repairs and renovations were completed with the support of Historic Valdese Foundation, Rostan Family Foundation and donations from citizens. The renovations would not have been possible without the efforts of Valdese Public Works Department and the services provided by the Young Offenders Forest Conservation Program (BRIDGE). The Grist Mill is no longer operable but serves as a unique photo backdrop for those who visit the park.