Carrol Daily Times Herald from Carroll, Iowa on March 3, 1976 · Page 10
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Carrol Daily Times Herald from Carroll, Iowa · Page 10

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Carroll, Iowa
Issue Date:
Wednesday, March 3, 1976
Page:
Page 10
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Interest Grows in Restoring Iowa Mills as Bicentennial Approaches By Jean McCay (Drake University Journalism Student) DES MOINES - Iowa rivers powered more than 700 flour and grist mills in the 1870s. Although most of the mills are now gone, lowans have taken increased interest in those remaining. "There's been lately a great deal of interest in restoring mills," said Jack Musgrove, curator of the State Historical Building. "They're a part of our heritage and people are interested in that, particularly in this Bicentennial year." Jefferson Davis, later president of the Civil War Confederacy, built the state's first mill in 1831 on the Yellow River in northeast Iowa. Although this was a sawmill to provide timber to build Fort Crawford, it started Iowa on a millbuilding spree that resulted in the 1875 founding of the first mill mutual insurance company. The milling frenzy was probably due largely to Iowa's prominence in wheat production. In the 1870s Iowa produced one-eighth of the nation's wheat and was frequently the leader in number of bushels. The arrival of chinch bugs, corn and electric rather than water power helped slow the trend and by 1900 many mills were abaandoned. Today only a handful still operate, grinding feed by electric power. In their heyday, however, mills were among the first buildings in a new settlement. Musgrove explained that this was because there were no other nearby means of sawing timber and grinding flour. The number and frequency of trips made by a farmer to the mill depended on his family size and distance from the mill, Musgrove said. Although Musgrove stressed that "the mill was a dusty, dirty place" and not the center of a town's social life, at least one Iowa mill has some claim to romance. The rushing waters of the Turkey River at the Spillville Mill in Winneshiek County is said to have inspired composer Antonin Dvorak in 1893 to write "Humoresque" and part of his ''New World Symphony." Mill restoration has been approached a number of ways. Pine Creek Mill, built in 1850, has been semi-restored by the state since it is in Wildcat Den State Park, Muscatine County. Individuals have also bought mills for restoration but the most popular method seems to be purchase and restoration at the county level. One of the best examples may be the Lidtke Mill in Lime Springs, Howard County. Bearing the name of its last owner, Lidtke Mill was built along the Upper Iowa River in 1857. All but the stone walls were destroyed by fire in 1894. It was rebuilt with red brick and wooden frame, converted to grinding feed and continued operating until 1965. Lidtke Mill was to be demolished when the Howard County Historical Society bought it for $5,000. In 1974 the Lime Springs Jaycee organization became involved in restoring the mill. "The county board of supervisors presented the restoration to us as a challenge because it just didn't seem to be getting off the ground," said Jim Walton, . Jaycee president at that time. He explained that a 13-member restoration board was established, three of the members being Jaycees. The board drew up a three-year plan for the $60,000 project. Walton said that by this summer the mill should be restored and open to visitors. "We hope to be operating the mill, which has its original machinery, and selling flour to visitors. Governor Ray has agreed to come to the ribbon-cutting ceremony," he said. The nearby miller's home will be restored to its 1919 condition during the next year of the project. "It would be hard for us to go back to the 1850s' original and remain authentic," said Walton. A grain-storage building may also be make into a souvenir shop. Third-year plans involve the re-establishment of a power company at the mill. Walton named only one problem — money. Thirteen thousand dollars has been raised thus far, including $5,000 in matching funds from the Iowa Bicentennial Commission and $1,000 from Cooling, Refrigeration Take Big Share of Energy By Iowa Daily Press Association DES MOINES,— Iowa ener'gy specialists contemplating the approach of the summer air conditioning season from a position amid consumer complaints about the size of energy bills can describe the scope of the dilemma in shocking terms. Window air conditioners, for example, consume about five per cent of all the electric energy used in Iowa each year and about 20 per cent of all the electricity used in Iowa homes. Members of the Iowa energy policy council meeting in Des Moines, received a research report on air conditioners and refrigerators and freezers. In the report, Dr. Laurem Hodges, the EPC's director ol research, pointed out that one manufacturer markets two window air conditioning units of identical capacity — 14,000 BTU's per hour. Yet one draws 2,760 watts of power when operating, the other only 1,380. The more efficient model costs about $120 more to purchase, but would very nearly pay that amount back in two cooling seasons, at present electrical energy costs. Hodges' report also pointed out some larger implications. About half the homes in Iowa have window air conditioning units, he said. Estimates of the average size and efficiency of window air conditioners led Hodges to set the annual consumption of these window units at 1 billion kilowatt hours. He pointed out that if all these units were in operation at the same time, the electricity required to run them would be equal to the output of two large electric power plants like the Duane Arnold Energy Center at Palo. Hodges also cited the dollar costs of the energy. At today's rates, he reported, the annual cost of building plants to generate that electricity would be about $250 million at least. "Consumers who are worked up over the size of their utility electricity bills should recognize that they, not some faceless power- company, are the ones who pay the costs of generating that electricity and distributing it," said Rod Riggs, director of the energy policy council. "And if they're hot under the collar now, they're going to get hotter when the cooling season begins." For nearly two decades, the days of peak electrical demand in Iowa have come during the summer; that development is simultaneous with the proliferation of home air conditioning, particularly window units., Hodges' report showed a range of efficiency ratios greatest in the 10,000 BTU models, from 4.9 to 11.6. Electric consumption of those models at the efficiency extremes would be from 940 watts to about 2,100 watts for the same amount of cooling. Similar ranges also were found in refrigerators and freezers, the report said. BUYONE ANDGETONE i Bring this coupotvwilhyojjtoUs and you can buy one Deluxe Huske£_andg€t one free. T Offer Expires March 17th Timei Herold, Carroll, la. Wedneiday, March 3, 1976 10 Byrd and Son, a Pennsylvania building supplies firm. The rest of the money.has come from the sale of memorial coins, bake sales, chicken fries and many other community projects. Walton said the community support has been great; almost all of the work is volunteer because of the shortage of funds. Restoration is not possible for every Iowa mill, however. Sometimes the interest and concern of a few cannot reverse the destruction of time and disregard. The Kruger, or Klondike, Mill in northwest Iowa is an example. Christian Kruger, a German immigrant, built his mill in 1883 along the Big Sioux River at Klondike, Lyon County. He and his four sons milled until 1919 when they tired of repairing the often-washed out rock dam. Three years later Kruger Mill' was sold, rebuilt arid operated until the Depression and modern milling took their toll. Nick Scholer of Rock Rapids purchased the mill for $2,050 in 1969, hoping the county historical society could assist in restoration. Campers removing floorboards for firewood, visitors damaging the pulleys and the loss of machinery have helped keep restoration far from reality. "Restore is hardly the word. The mill would have to be rebuilt," said Ronald Schemmel, Lyon County Historical Soceity president. "We've looked at it several times but it's just too badly deteriorated to make restoration possible." Don't be fuelish. Off ICE OF ENtHGY CONSEIVATIOM OF THE FEDEHAl ENEdOY OFFICE ITS OUR WAY OF SATING HEUO HARDfff. ring the coupofrto any participating Hardee's store " and you can get a free Deluto,Huskee. Hardee's great-tasting •- char-broiled burger, piled iugh with mayonnaise, •"' pickles/tomatoes, onions, lettuce/ipd cheese, all in a sesame seed-bun. It's an offer toffoWiclous to resist. spurgeons Now, do great things for ijour home at savings! fri . At _ --i ..^L ' '/*§« ''rl ^ *^i* ^"•k. K 5-i '->« -:?» » !l Custom Order a new coordinated look f\f\O7 Thurs., Fri. Save 2O/0 53J**- Have the bedspread of your dreams in any size—twin through king. Add matching pillow shams and accessories ... all made to order at the price you wait for! Choose now from acetates, poly/rayons and poly/cottons — save this week only! "ZS>X £ Thurs., Fri. and Sat. only! 45" cotton blend prints and solids Reg. $1.19-1.29 W W ^ yd. Poly/cotton and Avril® rayon/cotton. Hurry! Save on 60" polyester doubleknits Reg. O $C $2.99-3.49 ^ yds. for "*J or 2.59 yd. New heat transfer prints, twill and ponte de roma solids. Buy now at savings-by-the-yard! Thurs., Fri. and Sat. only! Save on Fiberglas* draperies in 3 new patterns 557 48x63" Reg. $6.99 48x84", regular $7.99 ....... now 6.37. 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U.S. Highway 30 & 6th St., Carroll I89 1656 9 MAHV CUSIOMII Try Spurgeon's Beauty Salon Ph. 792-1656 Save now! Charge It or Use our Free Lay-Away at Spurgeon's

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