(Alton) – The L-A-D Foundation of St. Louis has announced a $5,000 grant to the Friends of the Eleven Point River to help cover the cost of replacing the roof on the old Greer Mill, located about 10 miles north of Alton in Oregon County.
The Friends of the Eleven Point River, with active members in Thayer and Alton, recently formed as a not-for-profit organization. Its goals include stabilizing and restoring the mill, and members have raised funds to pay for structural and foundation repairs.
Greer Spring, Missouri’s second-largest spring, and Greer Mill are named for prominent Oregon County citizen Captain Samuel Greer, a veteran of the Confederate States Army. Construction of the mill was completed in 1899 and it still remains an outstanding example of a water-powered grist mill, unusual in that the mill sits high above the Greer Spring branch, which powered the mill by way of belts and pulleys to the water below. The mill ceased operations in 1920 and remained vacant for many years.
Owned by the Dennig family of St. Louis since 1920, Greer Mill and nearly 7000 acres of nearby property was purchased by Leo Drey in 1988. Drey, a St. Louis conservationist and businessman, conveyed the entire property to the U.S. Forest Service by bargain sale, a result of donations by him and Anheuser Busch.
Long-admired by residents of Oregon County as one of the area’s most important historic structures, Greer Mill was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in January of 2006.