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COVID-19 forces Old Stone Mill National Historic Site to close for summer

Delta Mill National Historic Site latest victim of Covid-19
COVID-19 takes its toll on national historic site.

The Old Stone Mill National Historic Site in Delta, Ont., north of Kingston, won’t be opening this summer season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is the only surviving pre-1812 stone grist mill in Ontario.

“It was a decision that was difficult to make and we were saddened by the necessity of making that decision,” said Liz Priebe, who is on the board of directors of the Delta Mill Society, the non-profit organization of volunteers that operates the landmark.

“We can’t manage the protocols, the sanitation protocols through-out the building on the interior. So that was part of the reason that was the main reason we’ve chosen to close through the season.”

Name of Kingston’s third river crossing could reflect the areas indigenous history
Name of Kingston’s third river crossing could reflect the areas indigenous history

Priebe says the mill is a key structure in the village, adding it’s a place where visitors come from far and wide to learn about past agricultural practices, milling and heritage grains, and provides an opportunity to buy the flour that is still milled there.

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Gananoque’s 1000 Islands Museum opens it’s doors with plenty of covid-19 protocols.
Gananoque’s 1000 Islands Museum opens it’s doors with plenty of covid-19 protocols.

Priebe says the mill is very much a hands-on facility, with numerous displays with handles, pulleys and knobs, and having to follow behind each and every person who’s touched something, and then sanitizing, just won’t work.

Add in the cost of those cleaning products and when you depend on donations, that’s a real hit.

Priebe says that’s a real strain on a staff of two, the number of university students employed during the summer.

Now, the two university student staff is busy cataloging and helping with the mill’s archives.