6 years ago that day the mill in Butte Creek burned down


EAGLE POINT, Ore. – Many people in the Eagle Point community were devastated early on Christmas morning 2015 when the Butte Creek plant, the last of its kind west of the Mississippi, burned down.

This then included the owner, Bob Russell.

“It was so hot standing across the street that you periodically turn around because you are too hot from the flames,” he said.

For former Butte Creek Mill Foundation CEO Mary-Ann Pitcher, the loss of the 143-year-old building reminded her of how much of a memory the historic building was to most of the community.

“People – everyone has a story about their time at the factory, maybe it was a field trip or when the family comes to town you take them there,” she said. declared.

While a majority of the mill was destroyed, over 30% of it has survived, allowing it to retain its place on the National Register of Historic Places.

Russell sold the property in 2016 and it is now a non-profit organization. Over the years an exact replica of the building has been reconstructed, with a new board taking over the foundation.

“[The] the total estimated cost is $ 2.6 million, ”said Jay O’Neil, Chairman of the Board of Butte Creek Mill. Since O’Neil’s intervention, the plant has entered Phase 4 of its rebuilding process – with construction due to be completed early next year.

“Here Mike is getting ready to set up the stones, it’s the top stone and it’s the one that turns and we’re going to move it with the crane we just installed.

It was recently cleared to partially open to the public and had its first smooth opening last month, selling freshly ground pancake and cookie mixes on the porch of the new mill which stands high where it once stood. the old one.

“It’s been fantastic, for us it’s very gratifying to have the factory open and to have these products available. People have come over and said, “It’s been 6 years since I ate pancake mix,” O’Neil said.

The community was eager to purchase the blends, as they sold out in the afternoon that day.

At this point, $ 800,000 still needs to be raised to complete the construction of the historic mill that the community all know and love.

If you would like to donate for the reconstruction efforts or find out more, you can visit buttecreekmill.com.

Copyright 2021 California-Oregon Broadcasting, Inc.


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