We have a lot of work to do. We are excited about the progress and potential...Stay Tuned!
The St Vrain Mill was built in 1864 by Ceran St Vrain, a prominent trader, Santa Fe Trail wagon master, and entrepreneur. It was a large three story stone structure on the banks of the Mora River in Mora, New Mexico. It was one of several mills in the Mora Valley that provided flour and ground grain to nearby Fort Union and operated as a mill until 1922. Its milling machinery was eventually sold off and it saw occasional use as a warehouse, but for the last 75 years or so, it sat neglected and gradually fell into disrepair. Even so, it is still one of the most impressive historical structures in Mora today.
The St. Vrain Mill was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972 and the List of Ten Most Endangered Historical Places in New Mexico in 2002. A much more detailed history can be seen at the History Tab.
In 2013, several members of the Mora community established The Saint Vrain Mill Preservation and Historical Foundation for the specific purpose of buying and restoring the St. Vrain Mill. In early June 2015, with the generous donations of our members, we reached the first goal - purchasing the Mill.
Now the Foundation’s effort are focused on the much larger and expensive tasks of stabilization and restoration. Our ongoing efforts to stabilize the Mill can be seen at the Reports Tab.
With the engineering recommendations in hand, our current effort is raising funds to do the foundation stabilization, wall repair, gable and roof repair, and to restore the first floor so it can begin to be used by the Mora Community. The eventual “end use” of the Mill will most likely be a Mora Cultural Center featuring the history of the generational families of the Mora Valley. A more complete description of our restoration Plan and depictions of possible future uses of the Mill can be seen at the Restoration Plan Tab.
The Board of Directors ~ Saint Vrain Mill Preservation & Historical Foundation
North and South Gables Repaired...
Left: Santa Fe Architect Beverley Spears takes gable measurements before work begins.
Above: Foundation President, Merl Witt, Beverley Spears, and Contractor Ken Knutson discuss findings during construction.
Below left and right: Completed gable restoration on both the north and south side of the St. Vrain Mill.
Photos: copyright Mill photos--Ken Krusemark.
Copyright: Group photo--Virginia Berg-Taylor
Summer 2019 St. Vrain Mill Restoration Project -- Gable Repair
In early June, The Saint Vrain Mill Foundation received word that the New Mexico Historic Preservation Division (HPD) awarded us a grant for the repair and restoration of the St. Vrain Mill gables. This grant, along with additional Saint Vrain Mill Foundation funds, is enough to completely rebuild both the north and south gables.
The south gable is intact, but nearly all of the sheeting boards are missing and will need to be replaced. The north gable is in far worse shape; much of the framing will need to be replaced, as well as some of the sheathing. All four cornices will be rebuilt, and new, period reproduction window sashes will be installed. The work will take four to six weeks and, once it is done, the St. Vrain Mill will be wind-, water-, and equally important, bird-proof. The contractor performing the work is Knutson Constuction, Sapello, New Mexico.
South end (front) of St. Vrain Mill behind Knutson Construction barrier fence.
Photos: Copyright--V. Berg-Taylor, 2019.
South-end gable (rear of St. Vrain Mill) after being pulled back into place.
Rear of St. Vrain Mill showing the scaffolding in place under the south-end gable.