By Laurie Gordon
Andy Martin has lived next to the Stillwater Grist Mill for his entire life and has always been interested in the history of Stillwater.
“The last millers were Willard Klemm and Gus Roof,” he said. “As a kid I remember talking to both men who are my neighbors.”
His interest in the Grist Mill really peaked after the Wintermute Family reunion which was held at the Grist Mill.
“When talking to the state they told me of the leaking roof and no one was allowed to go upstairs,” Martin said. “I have e-mailed over 75 people, including different agencies, the New Jersey DEP as well as the historical preservation fund. I have also gotten touch with legislators including Parker Space. I am looking for repairs to the slate roof so we can open it up for the Fall Festival in October.”
Martin is planning to make T-shirts and mugs to raise money for future endeavors.
“The state gives out grants but unfortunately we missed the deadline so the next time we can apply for a grant is May 2020,” he said. “For the slate roof repair or any other repairs to the building, contractors must be NJ vendors who are insured. It is difficult to find someone who is an contractor who will work on a such an old building and dealing with the state.”
Martin is also talking with the DEP to possibly open the mill so it can be an operational mill like the Clinton Red Mill. Currently the Grist Mill is not operational do to it not having a turbine hooked up. Also the water that would supply the Mill is currently not high enough.
“I have set up several other meetings with groups on getting the Grist Mill saved,” Martin said.
The video was made during the late 1970s to early 1980s and shows that the Grist Mill still works:
The Historical Society of Stillwater is pleased that Martin is taking on this project.
“The Mill is an important part of Stillwater's history,” said the Society's president, Deborah Drumm.
In other Historical Society of Stillwater News, the Society recently acquired a 1860 map of Sussex County. This is a rare find and a great historical artifact for the Historical Society. This map shows where every family lived in Sussex County by noting the last name on the map.
“It’s a useful and valuable genealogical tool for family searches,” Drumm said. “The map originally hung for many years in the Swartswood Fire House meeting room. The trustee for Swartswood Fire Dept, Vincent Cornmeyer made the donation to keep the map available for the citizens of Stillwater. This past winter pipes had burst in the closed fire house. A small amount of damage was noted to the map. This valuable find was salvaged, carefully dried, mounted with a custom-made frame, and new glass was replaced. The task was enormous. Volunteers were called upon to do the work. The Historical Society would like to thank Swartswood Fire Dept Trustee Vincent Cornmeyer, Stillwater residents Michael Chaves and Stillwater Historical Society member Andy Martin and Vice President Teri Martin.
The efforts of Stillwater residents to secure historical artifacts is commendable.”
The map will be on display at the museum which is open on Sundays from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.. For further information, visit: historicstillwater.org.
Donations may be made to The Historical Society of Stillwater, PO Box 238, Stillwater, NJ 07875.