Updated June 25, 2013
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Time and weather have taken a toll on the Francis Mill. Several of the main beams need replaced as well as some of the supporting posts. Fortunately, the time for saving this 117-year old local landmark has not yet passed.
In 2003, Tanna Timbes, a descendent of the man who built the Francis Mill and current owner of the mill, founded the Francis Mill Preservation Society, and sent out the word that help was needed for its restoration. Several community members joined her effort, and offered to help.
Mrs. Timbes learned about a group called the Heritage Conservation Network of Colorado (HCN)* on a web site maintained by the Society for the Preservation of Old Mills, and contacted the HCN to see if they could be of some assistance. The HCN agreed to help with the restoration and was instrumental in the FMPS receiving a $4,000 grant to help pay for a restoration workshop that was held in July of 2004. The Francis Mill Preservation Society is now joined with the HCN in continuing work to restore the mill, and have held workshops every year since 2004.
2008 is here, and the new wheel is up and running. This Spring will see the completion of the hook up of the machinery inside the mill, and by Summer we should be grinding grain. We have come a long way putting in many hours of work for this historic event to occur. We still need funds to make this happen.
Watch this site or the HCN site ( http://heritageconservation.net )for further details.
If you are interested in assisting with the preservation of the Francis Mill, you may obtain membership information or send donations (all donations are tax deductible) to: The Francis Mill Preservation Society, 14 Hugh Massie Rd., Waynesville, NC 28786, or contact Mrs. Timbes at 828-456-6307 or email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.