There is something about waterfalls. No matter the size, intensity or location, waterfalls call to us. When there is one in an area we are visiting, we go. Most of the time we go not knowing what to expect. So it was with Dunn’s Falls.
The description says it is a 65 foot waterfall, the largest in MIssissippi. John Cooper Dunn diverted the Chunky River to create the falls. He wanted power to run a cotton and grist mill. The mill structure is still standing as well as parts of the equipment. One of the more interesting aspects of the mill is not the mill but the apprentice working with Dunn. County records indicate J. B. Stetson used space in the mill to develop his namesake hat. He brought his design back to Philadelphia and became the largest hat maker in the area.
In the 1880s the mill served as a gathering for young people of the area. The large wooden floor would be sprinkled with meal and became a great dancing surface. Today as you walk the mill house you can just imagine all the events and the people associated with the mill.
Leaving the mill, you can walk the steps down to the Chunky River. From there you can look up at the falls and wade in the water. While we did not see any canoers we were told that Dunn’s Falls is a frequent stop for people paddling the Chunky.
Besides the falls and mill, there are hiking trails as well as primitive camping and a cabin.
As we walked the grounds of the area, we could imagine Stetson and Dunn working and being creative in such a tranquil area.