Welcome to Motor






Table of Contents

Mission Statement 3

Foundation Business 3

Planning 3

Facilities 4

Grounds 6

Communications 7

Education 8

Finance 9


To protect and preserve the architectural integrity, history, natural beauty and serenity of the Motor Mill site and its surroundings and to develop appropriate uses and interpretation as a regional treasure for the benefit of future generations.


By-Laws Change
The Foundation voted to make changes to the By-Laws which made reference to term limits.  This was due to the fact of the limited number of current board members.  After the vote, there are no term limits for Foundation Directors.  

Iowa Great Places Application
The Elkader Cultural and Entertainment District will be submitting an Iowa Great Places application including Clermont, Elgin, and Motor Mill. The Foundation moved to cooperate on the joint application.

Jeff Abbas, Tom Gifford, Betty Buchholz, and Les Klink were voted on the board for three-year terms.

The following officers were voted in:  chair – John Nikolai; vice-chair – Jon deNeui; secretary – Larry Stone; treasurer-Chuck Morine.

County Conservation Board Naturalist
Abbey Harkrader was hired by the Conservation Board as Naturalist to replace Angi Reid.  A portion of Harkrader’s position will be to work with the Motor Mill Foundation and the education element. 


Jon deNeui worked with Iowa One Call to locate phone cables at Motor to aid in planning for future projects.  A map has been drawn showing the location of the lines.

Old Threshers Report
Nikolai, deNeui, Lenth, and Stone visited the Midwest Old Threshers site at Mt. Pleasant and talked with CEO Lennis Moore on June 5. The group found the tour and discussion very useful.  A complete report is located in the June Minutes of the Motor Mill Foundation.


Allamakee Clayton REC installed a transformer, meter pole and overhead service drop between the bridge and the Mill.  Gregorson Electric installed a 200-amp meter loop, with a 200-amp disconnect and smaller circuit breakers for cord outlets. This was placed on outside pole.  Currently electricity is brought into the mill with the use of drop cords.

In the future Phase II will involve running an electrical line underground through conduit into the basement of the Mill, then up to a panel on the second floor. This can include a phone line, which will give the option of a security system.

The stairway from the main floor to the next floor is complete.  A set of steps have also been installed into the basement.  deNeui will propose to Steinmetz that we install a second stairway in the Mill for safety reasons, and that we leave an open atrium on the third and fourth floors to show visitors details of the Mill construction. deNeui also suggested constructing a trap door to move items between floors.

Mill Basement
The Office of the State Archeologist will require us to follow strict guidelines for any excavation at the Motor Mill site. Thus, Nikolai suggested that we should not undertake archeological studies in the basement while we are busy with floors, floor joists, and other work.

Mill Windows
All of the needed funds to replace the windows in the mill along with materials to build shutters for the first two rows of windows next to the road were raised.  The windows were ordered along with the lumber and hardware.  Window replacement started in the fall of this year. 

In April all of the floor joists were moved out of the stable and into the second floor of the mill.  At the same time, flooring material and joists were moved from deNeui’s shed to the mill as well.  UBC assisted with the loan of a fork lift.

Due to the flooding in June, the flooring project was delayed until September.  In September the project took a giant leap forward and work began in earnest.  About two days a week are scheduled for any volunteers to come and work on the mill.    

The goal is to have the flooring completed and the main floor windows and shutters done in time for a spring 2009 Open House.

Discussions continue with the Clayton County Board of Supervisors and the County Engineer on engineering for the bridge. The County had requested engineering specifications for a bridge, rather than the feasibility study that was received.  The County Board of Supervisors do not want the responsibility of paying for the bridge construction.

The next step is to hire the engineers to design the bridge structure.  The engineering is needed to determine the actual price of the bridge materials and work to be done.  This is needed in order to locate funds to spend in the project.  With costs figured it will be reasonable to ask for the public support needed to raise the funds.

The new bridge is to be a replica of the bridge that spanned the river at Motor.  The new bridge will be upgraded to meet a load rating of 20 tons.  Differences from the original span will be modern design and safety requirements as specified by the engineers.  Length, width, and height will remain the same.  The final specifications will be written according to the results of the engineering work.

deNeui met with the Clayton County Conservation Board, which passed a motion stating that construction on the bridge will not begin until the MMF has raised the money for the project. The Board of Supervisors has agreed to pay for the engineering, but they wanted assurance that taxpayers will not be asked to pay for actual construction.

Durable Restoration Company
The National Trust for Historic Preservation sent Jack Jenkins of Durable Restoration to assess flood damage to the Mill. He recommended testing the mortar, which will cost about $1,500. He also suggested inspecting the entire structure and preparing a restoration plan, which would cost $2,500. The board took no action at this time.

Flood Protection
Casey Stickfort of TeKippe Engineering presented the process needed to conduct an engineering study for a flood protection levee. He noted that permits would be needed from the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources.

A study would propose a design and give a rough estimate of costs. It would provide background information sufficient to use when applying for grants for final engineering and construction. The approximate cost would be $1,000. The board took no action, but agreed to discuss the proposed study.

deNeui has obtained the donation of 40 billboard covers to use to cover lumber and other construction materials. He hopes to procure a framework so the covers can be used to construct a temporary warehouse. (See also deNeui report on work plans, above.)

Muller has received a donation of tools from Charlie McClintock of Garnavillo. The items include a hand drill, a beam drill, an ice breaker and a block and tackle.

Engelhardt reported that Doug Steinmetz visited the site, and is working on an assessment of the inn and stable and the roof issues. He also is following progress of the work on the mill.


Robert Grau Memorial Savanna
The Clayton County Conservation Board staff conducted a timber burn on the savanna on April 16.  The objective was to control garlic mustard and stimulate native species.  The top of the savanna was a 95 to 100% burn.  The east side hill only burned about 35%.

The Grau family donated $1,000 to purchase prairie plugs for the savanna. Half of the plugs were planted by volunteers for an Earth Day event on April 20th.  The second half of the plugs were planted by Conservation Board staff on June 10th.

A volunteer garlic mustard pulling day and savanna plug planting day was scheduled for June 8th.  However, due to the flooding that took place, the event was cancelled.  

Conservation Board staff spent some time pulling garlic mustard on the savanna and the adjacent hillsides.  The pulling took place mostly in April and May.  After the June flood, time did not allow to pull much in June and July.

In September, conservation board staff was able to spray garlic mustard with Round Up on the site.  The majority of the top was sprayed along with approximately half of the side hills.   On November 3, Conservation Board crews burned the two north prairie fields adjacent to the savanna site.  The purpose of the burn was to control woody vegetation, control weeds and stimulate native species. 

Engelhardt would like to meet with DNR forester Bruce Blair to discuss a timber stand improvement project to open up the savanna.

South Side of Motor Mill
The Conservation Board began a prairie reconstruction in the CRP field on the south side of the river. Pheasants Forever donated $1,000 for the project and the Conservation Board has allocated $3,000.  The site was planted with the 20/20 Iowa Ecotype mix sold by Pheasants Forever.  The local chapter also funded the actual seeding.

Flood 2008
On June 8 and 9 the Turkey River went on a rampage and set new record level flooding marks at Motor Mill.  The water reached the main floor of the mill but did little damage to the items stored in the mill.  The Inn was flooded nearly to the top of the first floor windows, emphasizing the need for some kind of flood protection.
Other areas damaged at the site included the road itself, the campground, canoe ramp, latrine, the white house, the well and the fence by the Inn.  The remaining span of the bridge was lost down stream from the flood and a log jam developed on the pier, but a “new” rock wall was exposed from the flood just upstream from the mill.

The mill was closed for tours for the rest of the month in June.  Foundation members along with a few additional volunteers cleaned the silt out of the stable, icehouse and the mill along with the basement of the white house.  A portable toilet was rented to replace the latrine until it can be replaced.  
By the end of the summer the inn had been cleaned out, the campground and canoe ramp had been repaired.  The campground will be reseeded in the spring.  The latrine will also be replaced in the spring.

The bridge material along with the log jam had been removed.  The road has been repaired by the inn and icehouse and the holes filled in by the campground.  The remainder of the road will be rocked in the spring.

The water system will be repaired in the spring and the white house may be torn down.  The fence by the Inn will also be repaired in the spring of 2009.

As time passes after the flood, there may be more damage to the mill and to the bridge pier that may need to be further investigated. 

Some of the positives from the flood include some new ideas and options that have surfaced as a result.  The loss of the bridge has eliminated the requirement of saving it for a historical display, for example.  The floods uncovered old timbers and a plank at low-water river level near the limestone wall that also was uncovered upstream from the Mill. deNeui believes the structures could be part of an old crib dam.  Further investigation will need to occur.


In January, an email from Al Livingston, of Oquawka, Ill., praised the website and the Foundation.  The Foundation also looked at establishing an account with PayPal on the website.  The board took no action on this item.

The Milling Around newsletter was sent out four times in 2008.  Board members reviewed a list of people for whom Milling Around newsletters have been returned because of incorrect addresses.

There is an article about Motor Mill in the Spring 2008 issue of The Beckman Mill News.

Stone wrote an article on the progress at the mill that appeared with photos in the Clayton County Register on November 12.

Parades and Booths
The Motor Mill Foundation pulled a float in the Garnavillo Fourth of July parade.  The Foundation also had booths at the Clayton County Fair, Montauk, Plagman Barn and Heritage Days.  New this year was a Motor Mill Christmas tree displayed at the Holiday Walk at Osborne, Elkader Library and Strawberry Point.  The tree at Strawberry won second place at their festival. 

The mill was scheduled to be open for tours two weekends a month May through September.  Due to the flooding, however, several weekends were missed.  The mill was open for 10 weekends representing 27 days.  One special large tour was given for Silos and Smokestacks as part of a larger program of Northeast Iowa agricultural history tour for teachers.  There were a total of 504 registered visitors for the season.  Visitors represented 13 states and there were 305 volunteer hours recorded for the open weekends.

Mill Research
Last winter Buchholz and Muller researched Motor Mill at the Garnavillo Museum.  They sifted through many files full of letters, pictures and information regarding Motor Mill.  Some of their findings show the need for a few corrections in literature about Motor.  They found some great pictures showing stone work in the town of Elkader. 

Buchholz made two additional copies of the binders that are used at the mill during tours.  The additional copies will help with tours during open weekends.

They also found and made a copy of the materials list, cost and specifications for the wooden bridge at Motor and that information has been passed on to deNeui.

Arrah Lavon Polkow sent a picture of the school on the south side of Motor.  The photo was placed into the photo album book.

Civil War Weekend
The Civil War Living History Camp was held for the fourth year on the weekend of May 17 and 18.  About 15 people dressed in military or Civil War era civilian costumes camped for the weekend and put on several demonstrations.  The Monona Outlook wrote and published a very nice article about the event.  This was also the first weekend the mill was open for tours.

Iowa’s River Revival
Nikolai, Muller, and Betty and Roger Buchholz attended the Iowa Rivers Revival conference at Iowa Falls April 5. Nikolai and Muller gave a program on the Foundation’s work to restore and preserve the Mill Motor historic site. Roger Buchholz accepted the “Iowa River Town of the Year” award for the city of Elkader.

Turkey River Mills
Montauk, at Clermont, hosted a “Mills of Northeast Iowa” exhibit in September.  The Foundation placed a Motor display in their exhibit for the month of September.  Buchholz gave a program at Montauk on September 13 as part of a Northeast Iowa Mills event. About 20 people attended.

Turkey River Rendezvous
The Turkey River Rendezvous, which was scheduled for weekend of September 19-21, was canceled due to the flood.

Additional Events?
deNeui posed the idea of a festival at Motor to celebrate the area’s heritage. Several ideas were discussed briefly, including “rhubarb days.” 


501(c)3 Status
Gnagy and McCorkindale filed the needed 1099 sent to the IRS for the Foundation. Steve Clausen of Dietz Donald and Company prepared the 990 EZ form required of 501(c)3 organizations this year.  The Iowa Department of Revenue has said we do have to pay sales tax on our purchases. That could change if the Foundation operates a museum with regular hours.

Big Blue Sky Concert
The board sponsored a Big Blue Sky concert at the Elkader Opera House on October 25.  This year Jon Stravers included Dave Moore, a nationally known singer-songwriter from Iowa City. The total cost would be $1,700, or $200 more than in 2007. The board held a silent auction due to the time and effort required for a live auction.

The P. Buckley Moss print was displayed.  The Foundation also sold Big Blue Sky CDs, caps, t-shirts, John Mellinger prints and note cards, and Stone photos.

Receipts (tickets, sponsors, auction, pledges)$9.477.00
(Official attendance 182)

Expenses  (band, ads, printing, Opera House, sound, misc.) $4,196.17

Net profit $5,280.83

The board agreed that the concert was a success, despite a slight decrease in profit from 2007. The event not only raises money for work at the Mill, but also supports local businesses and builds awareness of and support for Motor Mill.

P. Buckley Moss Print
Nationally known artist P. Buckley Moss did a painting of Motor Mill entitled Remembering Yesteryear.  Larry and Margaret Stone attended the P. B. Moss collectors convention April 4-5 at Riverside. Lee Lenth attended April 5. Stone said Moss enthusiasts at the convention seemed quite please with the “Remembering Yesteryear” print by P. B. Moss depicting Motor Mill. The limited edition print is available for $225 at selected art galleries throughout Iowa and the U.S. It also can be ordered from the Motor Mill Foundation. We will receive 10% of the proceeds from sales through galleries, or 50% on orders we initiate.

Print sales were promoted throughout the year and this has turned into a good way to promote the mill along with raising funds for the mill as well.  Sales will continue.

Art by Gordy
Gordy Callison of Historical Re-Creations, contacted the foundation in 2007 regarding a pen and ink drawing of Motor Mill from a birds-eye-view depicting the 1870’s.  Alan Johnson of Elkader agreed to sponsor two drawings, an upstream and a downstream view.  Johnson would retain the originals, while the Foundation would received the rights to reproduce the art for fund-raising and promotion purposes. 

The drawings were completed by October but because of technical issues the prints were not ready for sale until December.  Proceeds from the pen and ink drawings will go toward the restoration of the Motor Mill.

Additional Art Work Planning

John Mellinger of Newton, a retired architectural engineer, has made a drawing of Motor Mill and donated it to the Foundation to use.  The drawing has been used for note cards and on t-shirts which are for sale. 

Mellinger has also offered to draw the home or barn of people who make substantial donations to the Foundation. A minimum donation of $500 was set by the Foundation.

Items for Sale
The Foundation also began selling items to help raise funds and to help promote the Motor Mill Site.  Items for sale include t-shirts, caps, note cards, Mellinger prints, and P. Buckley Moss Prints.  The sales of these items have gone very well.  Foundation members are consistently looking for venues to sell these items.

Fund Raising Campaign
During the winter and early spring months Nikolai presented the Motor Mill in Motion power point presentation to the Garnavillo, Elkader, Guttenberg, Edgewood, and Strawberry Point Lion’s Clubs, plus the Guttenberg Rotary Club.  His goal for each presentation was to raise awareness of the variety of projects and opportunities at Motor Mill and to discuss our short term needs of raising $78,000 by January 2009 for grant funding. Donor envelopes were also distributed.  Nikolai reported the response was relatively good.

Nikolai was also interviewed by Jeff Abbas of KPVL Radio in Postville.  The interview was about the history and promoting the Motor Mill Site.  The program aired on February 14.  Joleen Jansen was working to the get the interview on the website.

An IRA contribution was donated this year to the Foundation.  The contribution was made by the individual in lieu of paying tax on the interest.

Membership Fund Drive
In January a proposal was made to develop a Friends of Motor Mill membership drive, with funds going into the Clayton County Foundation for the Future. Donors could receive a 20% state income tax credit. When the Motor Mill Foundation accumulates $10,000, we can begin withdrawing 5% annually for operations.

The plan would be to keep membership money separate from special project money. We would ask people to become annual members, as well as donating for projects at Motor.  Membership envelopes were developed along with a signed certificate for each membership.

Grant Extensions
REAP HRDP- Awarded $38,500, requires cash match of $19,250 and In-Kind match of $19,250.  Project includes an engineering report, stabilization, safety, flooring, and windows of the mill.  Awarded the grant August 1, 2006 and final report is due January 15, 2009.  We have received a six-month extension. 

Historic Site Preservation Grant HSPG- Awarded $55,400, requires cash match of $55,400.
Project includes replacement of roof and historic chimneys on the mill and replacement of the roof on the inn.  Awarded the grant February 1, 2007 and final report is due June 30, 2009.  We have received a six-month extension.
National Trust for Historic Preservation- Steinmetz requested and we received a three- month extension for this grant. 

1.  Historical Resource Development Program (REAP HRDP) State Historical Society of Iowa

Date Received:  August 2006
Date Due:  January 15, 2009
Grant Amount:  $38,500 reimbursable
Match Money Required: $19,900 includes $10,400 for Engelhardt’s time and $9,500 actual cash
In-Kind Match:  $25,045 includes baseline drawings and volunteer hours
Total Project Cost:  $83,445

Project Description:  The grant funds will be used for engineering, baseline drawings, construction documentation, emergency construction repairs, mothballing/safety issues, joists, beams, flooring, TAN Services, time for Engelhardt and volunteers.
Current Status:  Engineering report completed.  Base-line drawings completed.  Emergency construction repairs partially completed.  Mothballing/safety issues partially completed.  The joists, beams, and flooring have been purchased and are currently being installed.  Engelhardt’s time and volunteer time has been partially completed.

We have received one reimbursement check for $6,972.83 and a second check for $8,782.25.  When the volunteer hours have been tracked and forms completed a third check will be requested for materials purchased since the last check.

2.  Clayton County Foundation for the Future

Date Received:  April 2007
Date Due:  December 15, 2007
Grant Amount:  $1,000
Match Money Required:  $2,100
Total Project:  $3,100

Project Description:  Funds are to be used for the purchase and replacement of floor joists.

Current Status:  The $2,100 match was met with the $3,100 grant from the Dubuque Racing Association.  The invoices, proof of match money, and necessary paper work has been completed and sent in.  The grant is considered completed and closed.

3.  Dubuque Racing Association

Date Received:  June 2007
Date Due:  January 30, 2008
Grant Amount:  $3,100 reimbursable
Match Money Required:  $0

Project Description:  Funds will be used for the purchase of flooring and floor joists in the Mill.

Current Status:  Flooring invoice has been received and necessary forms have been filled out for reimbursement.  Waiting to receive reimbursement check and then grant will be closed.

4.  Upper Mississippi Gaming Corporation

Date Received:  August 2007
Date Due:  January 2008
Grant Amount:  $2,000
Match Money Required:  $0

Project Description:  The funds were donated by the UMGC for the replacement of 10 windows in the Motor Mill.

Current Status:  The windows have been ordered.  Grant considered closed.

5.  Historic Site Preservation Grant Program (HSPG) State Historical Society of Iowa.

Date Received:  February 2007
Date Due:  June 30, 2009
Grant Amount:  $55,400 reimbursable
Match Money Required:  $55,800
Total Cost of Project:  $111,200

Project Description:  The funds are to be used for the architectural design and documentation along with the replacement of the roof and two chimneys on the Motor Mill and the replacement of the roof on the Motor Mill Inn.

Current Status:  Steinmetz has been contacted and will be up in spring to begin bid sheet process.  No other work has started. 

6.  The National Trust for Historic Preservation

Date Received:  December 2007
Date Due:  December 2008
Grant Amount:  $1,500
Match Money Required: $1,500
Total Project Cost:  $5,700

Project Description:  Have an engineering and architectural report completed along with a repair cost estimate done for the Inn and Stable at Motor Mill. 

Current Status:  Work has started on this project.  Steinmetz visited the site in April but no other work has been completed to this point.  An Alpine Communications grant has been submitted to help with matching funds.

Total Number of Grants: 6 Grants
Total Grant Amount Received:  $101,500
Total Match Money Required:  $79,300