The Yorkton Brick Mill Heritage Society Inc. was formed in early 2012 by individuals interested in encouraging the preservation of the oldest surviving brick flour mill in Saskatchewan.
Constructed in 1898 by John J. Smith to support the new settlement's agricultural base, the mill was reinvented a number of times by changing ownership and needs until falling into disuse in the late 1980s.
This heritage site is being developed by and for those who believe that history need not exist only in photographs and books.
The Society holds several fundraising events each year, and solicits donations and grants from various sources to pay for the restoration of the original mill, the improvement of the grounds, and future expansion.
In early 2020 the Society developed a three-year strategic plan setting out its mission, vision, values, and six strategic priorities with goals and objectives for each.
The Society invites anyone interested in its work to become a member, or become a Friend of the Mill by making a donation. A charitable receipt will be issued by the City of Yorkton for donations.
Our Storyboard, a series of outdoor panels telling the history of the Yorkton area from the time it was inhabited by the First Nations, was officially unveiled on Oct. 8.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was attended by 30 socially-distanced guests, all wearing masks.
Included in the storyboard are many photos, as well as text recounting the history of the area, city and mill.
It is part of the plan to develop and beautify the grounds around the mill, which also included planting grass this summer.
The Brick Mill Society has received a $20,000 grant from the Saskatchewan Heritage Foundation. The matching grant will be used for the following repairs:
The contract to complete the work has been awarded to NL Construction.
Linton Potzus of Potzus Construction donated and delivered 10 truckloads of top soil, and Vern Brown spent the good part of a day levelling it to get it ready for the continuing landscaping of the site.
On the August long weekend Ken Watridge cultivated the area to get it ready for the grass seed which will go in the ground in late August, and Gedo's Lawn Service took care of the weeds along the rail tracks and area south of the mill.
Volunteers are also watering the trees every three days. Want to assist with that? Drop us a note.
The Society envisions an addition to the old mill that will house artifacts, provide meeting space for community groups, and host businesses.
When complete, the grounds of the old mill will include outdoor exhibits and meeting spaces, as well as story boards telling the history of the mill and site.