Who owns The Butte Creek Mill? The Butte Creek Mill, as well as the Ice House and adjacent garden, is owned by the Butte Creek Mill Foundation, which is a 501 (c)(3) not for profit. It was purchased from Robert Russell for $135,000.
When was the foundation set up? The Foundation was set up in 2016 but did not receive its 501(c)(3) status until January of 2017.
Was the Butte Creek Mill insured before the fire? Yes, the Butte Creek Mill was insured by Lloyds of London for $400,000. It was extremely difficult to find insurance for the Mill and in fact, only Lloyds of London would offer such a policy and it was only for $400,000. With the extent of the damage and the approximately $1,000,000 in antiques lost in the fire, the prior owners lost a
considerable amount of money. Much of the insurance proceeds were used to mitigate the damage that was left after the fire, including the cleanup efforts. To restore the Mill to its former glory, rather than just building a new structure and losing a piece of history, the Foundation was formed to raise money and secure grants.
Will there be fire suppression system? Absolutely, we are in the process of having a top-notch fire suppression system designed. It will then go out for bid and be installed later this year.
Is the Mill still on the National Historic Register? Yes! We have been able to keep our status, due to the lower level being preserved. However, it will be contingent on the rebuild of the Mill, which is why we have hired renowned historic preservationist, George Kramer of Kramer andCompany. Mr. Kramer is very well known all over Oregon and in the historic preservationist
community generally. We are very fortunate to have him on this project.
Will the mill be handicapped accessible? Yes, as part of the restoration and rebuild, we applied and received a grant from Travel Oregon for ADA modifications. This will include a “lift” to allow people with wheelchairs or limited mobility to visit the lower level where all the “action” happens, including the millstones. Our hope is that no matter what limitations a person might
experience they will be able to visit the Mill and experience the “living history” that is the Butte Creek Mill.
When will the Mill be rebuilt and operational? Contingent on funding, the Butte Creek Mill is hoping to partially open in late 2021.
Who owns the water rights? The 1872 water rights associated with powering the Mill are very significant to this project, not only for their use in powering the Mill but also for the environmental impact they have on the Little Butte Creek, Rogue River and surrounding area. The Mill has a non-consumptive water right which means that we do not actually “use” the water, like someone who
is irrigating, but in fact keep them in stream and only use the power of the water as it flows through the lower level of the Mill. The Foundation is in the process of acquiring the water right from the prior owner. The Foundation plans to structure the water rights in such a way that they will not be able to
be transferred from the Foundation in the future and hence the environmental benefit to the community will exist in perpetuity.
Will there be a general store? Yes!
Will we be producing the same products? Yes and no, we will be making the same flour based products, including the famous waffle and pancake mix, but other items will be evaluated on a case by case basis. Do expect to see some of your favorites on the shelves and please send us your feedback if you are interested in seeing particular items.
Will there be a garden? Yes, a garden will be installed as the final step in this project. It will be in memory of Debbie Russell, the former owner who passed away from cancer three months prior to the fire.
Will there be “community” space? Yes! As there was in the past, groups will once again be able to use the grounds of the Mill for events, like the Vintage Fair and antique car shows. However, in addition, we will have an Exhibit Room, that will showcase local culture, Native American history and milling history. It will also highlight the timber frame construction as it will have vaulted ceilings. We
are very excited about this addition and the benefit it will bring to the community.
How can you help “Rebuild the Mill”? First and foremost, we need your donation, we have various options available. We also have received thousands of dollars in donated construction materials and hundreds of volunteer hours. Please give in whatever way you are able. It will take all of us to restore and rebuild the Butte Creek Mill and Ice House.