Bahr’s Mill is always going to be a work in progress. For the winter of 1998-99, our main goal was to finish the bathroom. We can flush at last, as of summer 1999! It’s amazing how that snow on the ground (see above) can inspire us! Then back to work on the machinery.
Spring brings wildflowers, including bloodroot, may apples, “ramps” or wild garlic, dogtooth violets (left), Jack-in-the-Pulpit and others we don’t know yet.
Our Wildflower Discovery Day was held in April in 1999 and 2000. Check the Present page for this and other events. There is a nice walk out along the millrace that is enjoyable at any time of year. One of the long-range plans (suitable for scouting projects, incidentally) will be to improve the trail so that it will require less maintenance, and to haul away the litter.
Long-term goals include paving the parking areas and the ramp from the building down to the handicapped parking space. Then we need to add a ramp from there to the ground floor, which is where the water wheel can be seen, and where the bathroom is located. As an associated project, we will be setting up the linseed oil stones near the two ramps.
Inside we still need to do more work in the water wheel room (the wheel pit). Thankfully, the Boy Scouts came out and cleared away the mud from around the wheel, so it will be easier to work in the wheel pit. It also should slow down the rot that is affecting the water wheel. To fully finish that project requires the installation of a sump pump and lights to illuminate the water wheel.
Some future day, we will be adding general interior lighting for those days when it’s overcast. The mill was originally lit only by natural light and probably some kerosene lanterns. Knob and tube electric service was added ca. 1915 to supply power to a total of four light bulbs in the whole building.
When those three large projects are done, the next (huge) project will be to install a hydraulic motor in the gear room that will drive the main vertical lineshaft. That will enable us to run the cable drive in the cupola again. That in turn will give us power that we hope to use to drive a blacksmith’s forge on the hill nearby.
As you can guess, none of these things come cheaply. To do your part, please see the donation page, or click the link above. Thanks.