Greer Mill 2016 - Passport in Time

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Missouri - Mark Twain NF
Closed! Greer Mill Stabilization, Phase III

Greer_mill_c1937 by USDA Forest Service
Greer Mill c. 1937 - Phase III of the Greer Mill Restoration Project will focus on completing the stabilization work from previous seasons and rebuilding the loading dock in front of the historic mill.

June 1-5; 8-12, 2016 (including weekends)

Must commit to one entire session; may participate in both

Join us on Missouri’s Mark Twain National Forest for the third phase of rehabilitation work at the historic Greer Mill, a fascinating piece of Ozark history! In the 19th-century, water milling was an essential industry that provided farmers access to grain processing and, likewise, provided rural populations access to flour. Samuel Greer, an early settler of Oregon County, built Greer Mill in 1883 and, with his partner, George Mainprize, kept it in steady business until 1899. After this point, ownership of Greer Mill changed hands many times, but operations continued until 1920, at which time the mill was sold. Closure that year was, most likely, due to increased competition from the railroads, which, when routes were completed, could finally stretch through the Ozarks – railroads could bring in volumes of grain, flour, and other goods that the local mills could not match.

Greer Mill is a majestic structure in a wooded setting above the dramatic landscape of Greer Spring, but time, the elements, and lack of use have taken their toll on this National Register-listed property. So, once again, we need your help to return the mill to its former glory! PIT volunteers and Forest Service staff will join preservation experts from HistoriCorps, a Colorado-based, public-private entity specializing in historic restoration, to conduct a variety of repairs to complete the stabilization work, as well as replace and rebuild historic features of the structure. During two, week-long sessions, volunteers will have the opportunity to pick up new skills (or hone existing ones) as they are taught to repair deteriorated sill plates and stud framing on the upper floors of the mill, rebuild the loading bay and awning to historic specifications, and take on several other tasks. HistoriCorps will provide the tools, safety equipment, and training necessary to complete the project tasks.

The Mark Twain National Forest also offers a variety of recreational opportunities for you to take advantage of during your “off hours,” including canoeing/kayaking, hiking, wildlife viewing, hunting and horseback riding. You’ll meet great people, enjoy delicious cast iron cooking and gain the satisfaction of saving this important piece of history – sign up today!

Number of openings: 12-16 (6-8 volunteers per session)

Special skills: Volunteers must be physically capable of sustained lifting, bending, kneeling, and standing for several hours each day; volunteers must come prepared with proper attire for working at a construction site: sturdy work shoes, long pants, and work shirt; previous carpentry, framing, masonry, and/or related construction or maintenance experience helpful, but not required

Minimum age: 14 years old, under 18 with a responsible adult

Facilities: Tent and (small) RV camping available at no charge at Greer Crossing Campground; potable water, toilets; no hookups; all meals and personal protective equipment (PPE) provided by HistoriCorps; Alton and Winona are close by, and have motels, restaurants, showers, cabin rentals, and range of other amenities; amenities vary, and fees may apply; volunteers responsible for own lodging/personal camping equipment and daily transportation

Nearest towns: Alton, 10 miles; Winona, 16 miles; Birch Tree, 25 miles

Applications due: April 25, 2016
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