Production of cornmeal and flour was essential to the people living nearby and therefore to the economic structure of the area. An example of the production levels of the mill is found in the South Carolina Industrial Census of 1860. Owned at that time by John Heller, the mill produced 1,750 pounds of cornmeal and 60 bushels of flour. Value of this annual yield was $1,750 for the cornmeal and $420 for the flour. Cornmeal and flour were strong commodities on a statewide level. In 1882, for example, Gilreath’s Mill was one of 720 grist mills in South Carolina producing 22% of all manufactures, second only to cotton products.
The mill was an integral part of the social and economic setting of the area. A means of procuring staple foods, Gilreath’s Mill was also a place where people could congregate. Listed in the National Register May 28, 1976.