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Panel #1


Waterwheel Painting

(History of the Ridge/Berry Waterwheel)

Local artist, Frank Murphy was commissioned to paint this scene of the old water powered cotton gin as it would have appeared at its Hermitage location in the 1870’s. The facility’s giant waterwheel was moved to the Berry Schools campus in 1930, where it now operates a grist mill from time to time.

Mr. Murphy made several onsite visits to the gin’s original location at Hermitage. He also consulted with local historians to help him to portray the scene in a very realistic view.


Murphy’s original canvas now hangs in the home of the Thad Rush Family, which was the home and farm of Cherokee leader John Ridge, who is believed to have constructed the gin facility in the early 1800’s.


For those interested, signed prints can be purchased from “Frank Murphy Fine Art” at:


Workmen installing WDC’s first panel in the foyer of the Shag Williams Community Center on January 4th 2021.

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