A major step in the preservation of Needler’s Mill took place at the beginning of October when Peter Katcher and his team from Pollard House and Building Movers moved Needler’s Mill onto its new foundation. It took the better part of a day to painstakingly roll the structure across about 60 feet; the mill had to be hydraulically raised and the crib rollers refitted after each 20 foot move to ensure the mill remained level. The steel beams beneath the mill were then welded to the foundation post plates.
The next steps involve adequately supporting the front porch and office, which overhang the new foundation. The porch also requires extensive repair or rebuilding in order to be safe. Skirting must be added to enclose the foundation and a final survey must be conducted so that the Conservation Authority can draw up a lease agreement. ORCA will lease the land on which the mill sits to the Historical Society. Once all conditions are met, the Historical Society will assume ownership of Needler’s Mill.
Supervising and planning this endeavor has been no small feat. David Hobson and Alex Bushell have been serving as volunteer project managers and have persevered through many a challenge and setback to make sure the project is completed.
The next steps will be underway within the next few weeks.
By Celia Hunter