BUSTI - Forty years of dedication has resulted in the complete renovation of a historical landmark, and area residents are invited to see the project in working order.
A community outreach event and anniversary celebration of the completion of the Busti Grist Mill restoration will be held Sunday at 3443 Lawson Road in Busti.
The event, called Apple Blossom Day, will feature guided tours of the operating mill, a new display building that includes artifacts, a museum with exhibits about the landmark and the Miller House, which is currently undergoing restoration. Refreshments and snacks will also be provided by the Busti Buckaroos 4-H Club.
The restored Busti Grist Mill is pictured during an opening celebration.
The Busti Grist Mill before the 40-year restoration project was completed.
A model of the proposed renovations to the Busti Grist Mill.
The interior renovations of the Busti Grist Mill are shown.
According to Norman Carlson, representative of the Busti Historical Society, a major motivation for hosting the event is to encourage visitors to get involved in the restoration projects.
"The emphasis is on the present and the future," Carlson said. "We want to pay a little extra attention to the dedicated volunteers and members who have been working closely with us, and to illicit new interest and increased participation."
The name of the event, Apple Blossom Day, is related to the annual Fall Apple Harvest Festival. Those who cannot attend the event, but still wish to offer support, may join the monthly grain grinding sessions, which are held at the Busti Grist Mill on the third Sunday of each month from 1-4 p.m. The event will not be held in May due to the Apple Blossom Day celebration.
"These are days when we run the mill to see if it needs any repairs or adjustments," Carlson said. "We hope to bring out people who are interested in learning how to run the mill."
The Busti Historical Society also hosts monthly meetings, and the next is set for Wednesday, May 7, at 7 p.m.
For more information call 483-3670, visit www.townofbusti.com or search for "Busti Historical Society" on Facebook.
RECYCLE AND REUSE
The Busti Grist Mill was built by Francis Sowl in 1839, and remained in operation until 1956. Thanks to many years of community service, the mill is operating once again.
"A lot of people in Busti said they never thought they'd see it in their lifetime, but there it is - we are grinding grain and we are turning out products," Carlson said. "I'm sure seeing the project completed was a different emotional mix for every one of our members, and I certainly wish my parents were still around because they started it too. For me it was an immense sense of satisfaction, pride and hope that the future generations will take it up to use it as an attraction and a vehicle to convey the heritage of the location."
The current project of the Busti Historical Society is restoring the Miller House, which is located across the road from the mill and museum.
"It was undoubtedly built by Francis Sowl, and it was part of the original 50-acre property," Carlson said. "It was lived in by many of the original mill owners and operators. Everything exterior and interior needs work because we're trying to restore it to the 1840s."
Volunteers will also be needed for the implementation of a small park and memorial to Paul Busti, who founded the town. Those who have information, facts or photos about the history of the town may also be able to offer support as a book by Helen Ebersole, a Lakewood resident, is also in the works.