Much Progress at the Souther Tide Mill

Friends of the Souther Tide Mill will be hosting a Spring Fling fundraiser on Thursday, May 22 at the Squantum Yacht Club (646 Quincy Shore Drive).  All proceeds raised will be used for the design, purchase, and installation of new educational signage.

The new sign along Southern Artery right in front of the Mill was purchased by the Friends group about a year ago.  This sign has spurred questions and interest in the Mill recently according to Doug Morrill, President of Friends of the Souther Tide Mill.  “We want to be able to place educational signage around the Mill,” Morrill said, “so that people can walk up and learn about the vast history of the Mill and the many industrial uses the area has seen over the past 150 years.”

Members of the group expressed great pride in the progress made to the Mill in the past few years.  In 2009, Community Preservation Act (CPA) funds and a large donation from Jay Cashman allowed for substantial structural repairs to be made to the walls, roof, and shingles of the building.  “The Mill’s really seeing a rebirth since the fire a few years ago,” said Morrill.  The CPA funds accounted for $170,000 of the improvements; Cashman donated over $50,000 to the effort.

The future of the Souther Tide Mill looks bright too.  Last year, a CPA grant for $55,000 will go to an engineering firm to design further structural improvements to fortify the foundation and pilings of the Mill.  This year $10,000 in CPA funds will be used to develop a long-term plan for the future use of the structure and site.

Long-time community advocate and past president of the Friends group, Carolyn Marks, remarks, “There’s lots of little things going on too.  We’ve had volunteers from the Wollaston Garden Club plant flower beds around the Mill, and we’re making strides to get the structure listed on the State Register of Historic Places.  This is the first step towards getting on the National Register.”

The event on May 22 looks to be a full evening.  Morrill said, “We’ve been asking the City to run electricity to the Mill so that we can have a security system installed.  So we are excited to have Mayor Koch as our keynote speaker for the evening.  The City owns the building and needs to be the key stakeholder in making the structure a gem for the community.”  The evening’s entertainment will come from Rick, Andy and Judy (a Peter, Paul, and Mary cover band), who will debut a song they recently wrote about the Souther Tide Mill.  Other speakers will present the history of the site and will the many changes coming soon to the Mill.  Tickets are $20 per person or $25 per family.  There will be hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar.  Cocktails at 6:30 with the first speaker scheduled for 7:00pm.  For more information, contact Doug Morrill at (617) 471-3628.

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