Mill to Receive Period Correct Timbers

Staff Writer

With the help of a local resident, the renovation of the High Street mill will get a boost of history. At its meeting Tuesday afternoon, the St. Marys Community Improvement Corporation voted to purchase 20 hand-hewn, chestnut beams from the Lawler family to to be used in the mill project.

The beams, currently in the possession of Ned Lawler, are from the same time period as the construction of the grist mill and were original to the Dieker House — a hotel that used to sit on the corner of Spring and Chestnut streets.

Some members raised concerns about termites or rotting wood but CIC President Kraig Noble assured them that the beams would be an improvement. The beams — which Noble said display marks from the tools that made them — have been stored indoors since the 1970s and showed no signs of damage.

The cost of the beams came in at $250 each for a total of $5,000. Beams of that era in the quality of condition they are in can go for much more than that on the open market. CIC Secretary Mike Burkholder said Lawler has people interested in buying them but Lawler wanted the city to have the first shot at them. 

Burkholder also noted that the city is filing for a release of funds Wednesday and the project will be out to bid soon after a 15-day comment period passes.

Also discussed and approved in Tuesday’s meeting were agreements to have Larry McClain to create 3-D rendering for Freewalt Way and Omega Metals to create renderings and models for the newly acquired land around Skip Baughman Stadium. CIC members settled on setting a maximum price on each rendering to not exceed $3,500. 

The plan is to provide potential ideas to developers who would buy the land once the city sells the property around the stadium.