HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A rich piece of local and American history almost washed away during Tuesday’s floods. But quick action by the township gave them a better chance at saving an old mill.
The historic grist mill is older than our nation. Water tore through it. Supports that are stacked like Jenga blocks are the only thing keeping it from collapsing. It’s stood through through the Revolutionary War but nearly two and half centuries later, it was almost destroyed by a raging flood.
“It’s devastating, this was a really awesome landmark. I’ve been coming here fishing for a couple years now and it’s sad to see something like this happen,” David Miller of Stroudsburg said.
Tuesday, severe flooding caused major damage to the old mill in Hamilton Township. Fast moving water undermined the foundation and most of the front wall collapsed.
“It came from every direction – the water did- and that’s what caused the damage to the building,” township supervisor Bob Heil said.
Heil says contractors worked through the night to stabilize it. Locals were hoping the old mill would hang on.
“I was horrified but also happy because I could see that somebody was working to try to get it so maybe it could be restored,” John Gerkhardt of Hamilton Township said.
Now that the mill is stabilized, they’ll need to assess the damage and consult architects before they move forward with the reconstruction.
“Whenever you can improve something so that we don’t have further damage you do, but you also retain that historical nature of that so it’s an interesting dynamic there to put that together,” Heil said.
A long road ahead but locals say it’s worth every step.
“It’s something that defines this area. People come from all around to see this place and it’s a beautiful area too so it’s well worth the money to fix it,” Miller said.
“Preserving our history it’s a part of our history,” Gerkhardt said.
The area is blocked off and will be for a while. The township warns people not to cross the tape because a wrong move could be deadly. Tampering with the supports could bring the whole structure down.
Heil says they do not know what it will cost yet, but they are determined to save the mill.