Project Partner: Mark Twain National Forest

History: In the 19th century, water milling was an essential industry that provided farmers access to grain processing and rural populations access to flour. Samuel Greer, an early settler of Oregon County, MO, built Greer Roller Mill in 1899 with his partner, George Mainprize. This mill is unique in its location, less than 1 mile uphill from Greer Spring, which required the use of an ingenious system of cables and pulleys to harness the power of the spring. After 1899, the ownership of Greer Mill changed hands many times. Operations ended in 1920, most likely because of increased competition supplied by the railroads built in the Ozarks. Today, Greer Mill is a majestic building in a wooded setting above the dramatic landscape of Greer Spring.

HistoriCorps has worked at Greer Mill each summer between 2014-2015. In 2014, HistoriCorps completed the first phase of rehabilitation work at Greer Mill in partnership with Passport In Time and the Mark Twain National Forest. The work included reconstruction of the structural members on the west elevation, rebuilding and repointing the foundation on the west elevation, residing the west elevation to a height of 8 inches above grade, stabilizing an interior bent, and minor repair of stairs and infill of window openings. We were fortunate to have good weather, outstanding volunteers, and daily support from the Forest. All of these factors resulted in HistoriCorps completing considerably more than what we had agreed to do.

Scope of Work: The goal of the project was to continue our efforts from 2014 and repair the damaged and deteriorated mill. The two sessions focused on wall stabilization, framing, and siding replacement. Volunteers worked closely with field staff and learned to:

• Replace interior posts and timbers
• Remove and stabilize wall framing and sill plates
• Repair and replace floor joists and floorboards
• Continue cleaning the interior of the mill
• Excavate, by hand, an improved drainage around the east side of structure

HistoriCorps is a service learning partner of the U.S. Forest Service, Department of Agriculture committed to the preservation and stewardship of significant resources on public lands.

  • September 8, 2014 - June 14, 2015