Friends of Eleven Point provided donations to improve historic Greer Mill and Turner Mill
ROLLA, Mo., (June 3, 2021) —Friends of the Eleven Point River have worked with Mark Twain National Forest since 2013 to help bring Greer Mill back to life. The group just donated $6,500 more to keep the project going, and at the same time, donated more than $11K in equipment and supplies to improve recreational opportunities along the Eleven Point Wild and Scenic River.
Brian Sloss, President of the group, met with District Ranger Matt Dillon on Wednesday, May 26, at the mill to move the project another step forward. Brian presented the Forest Service with $6,500 from the Friends group to go toward the mill’s restoration.
“This will be used to install interpretive signs and will also provide a boost for creating the trail that will go from the mill to the parking area down the road,” stated Brian Sloss. In 2013, the Friends met with the Forest Service to design a plan to prevent the historic building from collapsing in on itself. Now they are moving their focus from stabilizing a building to making the site easy and fun to visit. “I feel like we are completing the circle with this donation,” said Sloss.
Interpretive signage will allow visitors to learn more about this unique mill that served as a centerpiece in the community for about a century. Having a walkable trail from the Greer Springs parking area to the mill will allow visitors to easily stroll to the site.
“This will make going to Greer Springs a full day of fun,” stated Sloss. Visitors will be able to hike down to the beautiful Spring Branch and back, and then they will be able to walk around the mill and enjoy the interpretive information.
The work accomplished over the past eight years to restore the mill has been impressive. Mark Twain National Forest employees coordinated with Friends of the Eleven point, CASP Group, Amish crews, HistoriCorps, AmeriCorps, and many more volunteers to bring the mill back to a stable and beautiful condition. Anyone curious about previous restoration activities can learn more in previous Forest news releases (in “News and Events” at www.fs.usda.gov/mtnf) from 2016 and 2018. Roberts Harwood Flooring in Mountain View cut wood flooring at cost to match the exact size of the boards needing replaced inside the mill—just one example of the many donations of time, materials, and care that went into getting the mill where it is today.
The excitement on May 26 did not stop at the mill though. Sloss and Dillon traveled to Turner Mill, where another project was underway. Donations of gravel and equipment time from the Friends group are going to make visitors and river float-trippers very happy this year.
“It will be very nice to have fresh gravel making it easier for river users to access and enjoy the site,” stated Ranger Dillon. He added, “I am very impressed and grateful for all the assistance that the Friends of Eleven Point River and the local community provide.”
Sloss noted that they have noticed a marked increase in the number of people stopping to admire the mill since work began eight years ago. “I am excited that we can soon proudly show the mill off to visitors and I think it will be a tourist draw as people come to visit the beautiful streams and trails.” The Friends of the Eleven Point River are continuing to do great work to make their vision a reality.
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