The St Vrain Mill Preservation and Historical Foundation has just completed the most significant step in the restoration of the St Vrain Mill - stabilizing the foundation of the Mill.
As practically everyone in Mora knows, over 150 years ago, Ceran St. Vrain commissioned the building of his stone mill (Molino de Piedra) as a replacement for his mill in Taos which had burned down just weeks before. The work was done in haste, and in that haste, no one realized that the north end was built on mostly sand and water. Over the years, the foundation shifted and the now familiar crack developed in the east wall.
Soon after buying the Mill in 2014, the Foundation commissioned Engineering Analytics, Inc. of Raton, NM to assess the Mill’s condition and recommend a solution. As a result, a contract was issued to Hayward-Baker Geo-Technical Construction, Commerce City, CO. On January 8, 2018, a six- man crew arrived at the Mill to implement that solution- injecting grout under the slowly sinking foundation. This grout injection technique has proved to be effective in foundation stabilization over decades of use and we expect that it will be completely effective for the St. Vrain Mill.
With the walls completely stable, the next step in the Mill’s restoration is to replace fallen stones and repairing the cracks in the east and west walls. If funding is available as anticipated, this work could be done this coming summer.
We appreciate the patience of the Mill’s neighbors in coping with the noise and activity over the two weeks it took to complete the job. We also wish to thank the Mora Valley Ranch Supply for providing a secure staging area for Hayward-Baker’s piece of equipment. We also appreciate the many people in Mora whose support and contributions help make the St. Vrain Mill restoration possible.