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Contact: Faye Walmsley, 573-323-4844
When you are 120 years old, it's normal to have some aches and pains. The Alley Mill, built in 1894, has withstood over a century of floods, blizzards, thunderstorms and every type of weather imaginable. All in all, it has held up pretty well, but in some places it is showing its age. Within the past year, the back porch has begun to sag and the concrete structure under it has begun to crack and leak. It is believed that it is now so unstable as to be potentially unsafe. Rather than have this popular viewing spot collapse and have people possibly seriously injured, the National Park Service has decided to close the porch temporarily. This will also help protect the turbine and flywheel located under the porch from possible damage caused by a collapse triggered by the weight of visitors on the porch.
"The Alley Mill will remain open as usual," said Superintendent Bill Black, "but we had to make this decision to protect people's safety. We will have repairs completed as soon as possible." NPS engineers have been looking at the entire rear area of the Mill, from the porch to the spillway to the dam across the spring to consider the best approach to preserving these aging structures. "A comprehensive approach to the Mill's preservation may take a while to implement, but we will tend to safety hazards immediately," Mr. Black continued. "We want the Alley Mill to remain a part of the community for at least another hundred and twenty years."
Alley Mill is open for visitors daily through Labor Day from 9:00 to 4:30 pm. Admission is free and tours are held by request.
For more information call 573-323-4236, ext 0, or visit: www.nps.gov/ozar
Ozark National Scenic Riverways preserves the free-flowing Current and Jacks Fork Rivers, the surrounding natural resources, and the unique cultural heritage of the Ozark people.