It is almost a year since an agreement was reached to enable the Millbrook and Cavan Historical Society to purchase Needler’s Mill in Millbrook from the Otonabee Region Conservation Authority, and the end is finally in sight. Last Thursday, July 21, David Hobson, representing the Historical Society, had an opportunity to show the latest plans for a new foundation for the mill to ORCA’s Dan Marinigh, and verbal approval to proceed was received.
At issue was an earlier plan for a new foundation that would have temporarily encroached on the base of the toe berm – the lower grassy slope of the dam embankment. Adjustments to the construction of the new foundation will eliminate this and will also allow for a reconstructed front porch supported by posts. Personnel from Pollard the Mover were on site late last week to lift the mill enough to allow for excavating to begin.
The project has also been delayed while the Conservation Authority fulfilled an unanticipated requirement to undertake an archeological assessment of the new site. This was conducted last November, with follow-up work this past spring.
The new foundation for Needler’s Mill will be built immediately west of where the mill currently sits, in part on the footprint of the former saw mill. The work to prepare the new pad and move the mill is expected to take several weeks.
Once the mill is moved, a lease agreement for the land on which it sits will be signed between Otonabee Conservation and the Historical Society after a final survey is conducted. When the Conservation Authority is satisfied that the Historical Society has fulfilled all the requirements of the Agreement to Purchase, ownership of the mill will be transferred to the local group. Following the move and the transfer of ownership, the Historical Society will look into ways to repair and restore the exterior.
By Celia Hunter