History of Iola Mills

Restoration Efforts

While many people through the years have contributed to the preservation of the mill and its contents, a thorough restoration began in 1996 with the help of the National Park Service.  The National Park Service is the government agency accountable for all the properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The NPS provided architectural guidance and some tax credits for materials.

With the river running through the middle of the mill for 150+ years, the foundation was first to be repaired. The center section of the mill had its central wooden support posts in the stream.  This caused the mill to sag as much as 12 inches in the middle.  The original water turbine (above) was rebuilt during the process and recommissioned in 1999. It has been used to produce electricity ever since.

After re-roofing the mill, the siding had to be removed to repair all the structural problems.  The center section of the mill is the oldest (1860) and was built using 'post and beam' construction.  The outside additions were constructed using 'balloon framing'.  In either case, no sheeting was used behind the siding and this led to many problems allowing the framing to have increased exposure to the elements. (above middle and right) These rotten timbers had to be removed and replaced before the restoration process could begin.  After repairing all the structural issues, new sheeting was applied to the building and cedar siding, trim boards, and wood windows were applied to match the original materials.

Link to local chamber

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