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Brick Mill Society receives civic honour

Society dedicated to preservation of historic mill
brick mill
The old brick flour mill is part of local history in Yorkton. (File Photo)
YORKTON - The Yorkton Brick Mill Heritage Society has been chosen for a Civic Award from the City.

As noted on the Society’s website, “the Yorkton Brick Mill Heritage Society Inc. (YBMHS), was formed in early 2012 by individuals interested in encouraging the preservation of the oldest surviving brick flour mill in Saskatchewan.”

The building is owned by the City of Yorkton, although they are in the process of transferring ownership to the group of volunteers which make up the YBMHS. They have worked decisively in their efforts to preserve the history of the building.

“It's a real community project,” said Larry Pearen, a director with the society. “We're just a little group pumping along.”

The YBMHS have been on the receiving end of several awards in the years since it was founded, the civic honour being their most recent.

Pearen, excited with the newly attained accolade, said it will “help to raise the profile of the organization and its activities.”

Pearen went on to say that, over the years, hundreds of volunteers have dedicated their time and effort to help make the mill what it is today, adding, “Thank you to everyone who supported the program, and we're always looking for additional volunteers as we move into the next phase.”

The previous phase focused on repairs and restorations including major renovations like the pouring of a concrete pad to support a table shaped like a mill stone, more minor renovations and improvements such as new window frames or a coat of paint, as well as additions to the historical board signs located outside the building.

“It's not the prettiest building in town, but it is the oldest industrial building that we know of,” said Pearen.

“Phase two is to build an interpretive center,” said Pearen, adding that the building would be constructed in such a way to resemble that of a railway station from that era (late 1800s).

“We're anxious to record stories about the mill and we're looking for anyone who has stories they would like to share.”

When asked about the future endeavours of the YBMHS Pearen likened the experience to an expedition.

“We're not even close to where we're going. It's been a real journey,” he said.