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    Saint Croix

    National Scenic Riverway WI,MN

Arcola Mills Visitor Center

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Date: August 25, 2012
Contact: Jonathan Moore, 715-491-6839

Historic Arcola Mills and National Park Service to Reopen Visitor Center on September 1

ST. CROIX FALLS, Wisconsin: The Arcola Mills Historic Foundation and the National Park Service (NPS) are pleased to announce that Arcola Mills will again host an NPS Visitor Center. The site will be open to the public daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., from September 1 through October 26, 2012. Admission to the historic site is free throughout this period.

In October 2011, the two organizations partnered to make this historic site, located within the boundary of the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway, accessible to the public. In just 30 days, more than 4,000 people visited the temporary visitor center.

As was the case last year, the Arcola Mills Visitor Center will be staffed by volunteers throughout the public opening. Visitors can enjoy unique views of the river and of a historic lumber mill site, watch a film about the Riverway and view exhibits to learn more about the history of Arcola Mills and the logging history of the St. Croix River.

Along with hosting the visitor center this fall, Arcola Mills is also available to the public throughout the year for meetings, events, weddings and other gatherings.

Located six miles north of Stillwater, Minnesota, Arcola Mills was the site of a small and prosperous village founded at the start of the lumbering era in the 1840s. Today, the site features the Mower House, a restored Greek Revival mansion built in 1847, and one of the largest undeveloped parcels of land on the shoreline of the nationally designated wild and scenic St. Croix River.

"We are very pleased to have the opportunity to partner again with the Arcola Mills Historic Foundation.We were delighted by the results of our shared efforts last October.We had 4,077 visitors from 32 states and 11 different countries.We look forward to introducing many more visitors to this special and historic place along the St. Croix River," commented Chris Stein, superintendent of the Riverway.

"The experiment with the National Park Service in 2011 was a great success. I think Katharine Van Meier would have been pleased by the number of people who experienced Arcola Mills and were able to enjoy this beautiful place. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with NPS to share the special story Arcola Mills has to tell," added Ray Marshall, acting chair of the board of the Arcola Mills Historic Foundation.

Arcola Mills is located at 12905 Arcola Trail North in Stillwater. Best access to the site is from the north end of Arcola Trail (the turn is located approximately 6 miles north of Stillwater and 4.5 miles south of Marine on St. Croix). For additional information, call (651) 439-1653 or visit http://arcolamills.org.

ABOUT THE ARCOLA MILLS HISTORIC FOUNDATION

By the 1920s, long after the lumbering bonanza ended and the sawmill closed, the Mower family home and surrounding village fell into disuse. In the mid-1930s, Dr. Henry Van Meier and his wife Katharine purchased the Mower house and its surrounding 50+ acres of property on the St. Croix River. It became their summer house until Dr. Van Meier's death in 1979.

In the 1990s, after Katharine Van Meier's death, Arcola Mills was incorporated as a non-profit organization. Today, the mission of the Arcola Mills Historic Foundation is to restore and preserve this incomparable natural and historic place on the St. Croix River and to encourage people to gather here, to connect, learn, create and renew their spirit.

ABOUT THE ST. CROIX NATIONAL SCENIC RIVERWAY

The St. Croix National Scenic Riverway, a unit of the National Park System, was established by the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act in 1968. It is one of a group of eight rivers in the country that first received this recognition. For 255 miles, the St. Croix River and its tributary, the Namekagon, flow through some of the most scenic and least developed country in the Upper Midwest.

For additional information on the Riverway call (715) 483-2274.

Did You Know?

A very narrow insect with skinny legs and a tail

Water scorpions use their tails or siphons as a a "snorkel" thrusting it up through the surface film on the water to the air above. Their legs are not much use in swimming, so most water scorpions spend life near the shoreline.