News from recent years.
Bahr’s Mill is under new ownership. Watch this space for the updated website. Call us at 610-906-3415 for more information.
Modernizing at Bahr’s Mill began in November of 1996, At the same time, the interior of the building was cleaned up, the roof was repaired with AcryMax (TM) roof coating, and a lot of painting was done to the exterior. As you can see in the picture above, not all the repairs and painting are completed. Modern electrical service was installed underground, and an electric motor has been installed to drive the lineshaft. A grassed parking area was graded behind the building and lots of mowing and weed whacking on the seven-acre property was also begun.
1998 did not see all the events for which we wished, but it was a good year nonetheless. Just before we opened, we graded a ramp to allow handicapped access to the main floor. This was a good thing, as we had several people who utilized the ramp. Our opening saw literally hundreds of visitors, as did the Berks Historic Society Road Ramble. On that day we had about 300 people through the mill in 3 hours! (For the year, our attendance was about 850 – thanks for coming out). October saw excavation for the bathroom and November found us at the American Woodworker Show in Fort Washington, PA.
The summer of 1999 was one of the hottest and driest on record here in Eastern Pennsylvania. While that was great for keeping the weeds under control, it did discourage some visitors, and discouraged us from painting. We did hold our first “Wildflower Discovery Day” on April 10. Since this was before the heat wave hit, the flowers were not cooperating! Then in August we poured Babbitt bearings in the table saw. Later that fall we attended the woodworking show in Fort Washington. If we decide to return, we’ll have to take an operating machine, like we saw Bill McCarthy demonstrate there. He’s the great guy who taught us to pour bearings! Finally, we were lucky to receive a copy of a video that was made of Lawrence Bahr giving a tour of the mill. That was a great resource, one that both answered and raised some questions.
In 2000 – 2001 we spent a lot of time mowing and weed-whacking, painting and trying to get the lineshaft operating reliably. This included installing a new post under the main support beam on the first floor. Then it’s on to the machines – each one needs to be checked all over for loose bearings, bolts and belts.
2002 brought about a long-time goal, thanks to the generosity of the Boyertown Community Fund and our private supporters (like you!) The stonework in the wheel pit area was re-laid and mortared, new beams were installed under the forebay and a viewing deck built so people can get a close-up view of the water wheel.
Long Term Goals
The other news from 2002 was the beginning of the harness shed / blacksmith shop project. Shown at left as it looked in 1900, the enlarged shed just across Ironstone Drive was going to be demolished. Our stalwart volunteers took the shed apart into pieces and moved them up the hill above the mill. The next big step is to make a foundation and re-erect the shed so that it is in line with the cable drive in the cupola of the mill. Then we will install various metal-working machines that will be drive by a lineshaft that can be powered by the cable drive. This will be the only operational cable drive we know about. For more plans and goals see the Future page, or you can donate.
At the present our hours of operation are by appointment – call 610-906-3415, or you can Email Us