Champion Mill (Nebraska)

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Champion Mill
Champion Mill from SW.JPG
Champion Mill building. The milldam is out of frame to the right.
South-southwestern corner of Nebraska, close to triple point with Colorado and Kansas
South-southwestern corner of Nebraska, close to triple point with Colorado and Kansas
South-southwestern corner of Nebraska, close to triple point with Colorado and Kansas
South-southwestern corner of Nebraska, close to triple point with Colorado and Kansas
Location within Nebraska
Location Mill and Second Streets, Champion, Nebraska
Coordinates 40°28′14.34″N 101°45′1.84″W / 40.4706500°N 101.7505111°W / 40.4706500; -101.7505111Coordinates: 40°28′14.34″N 101°45′1.84″W / 40.4706500°N 101.7505111°W / 40.4706500; -101.7505111
Area 3.8 acres (1.5 ha)
Built 1888 (1888)
NRHP reference # 88000913[1]
Added to NRHP June 23, 1988

Champion Mill is a historic flour and feed mill in Champion, in the southwestern part of the state of Nebraska, in the Midwestern United States. Built in 1888 and rebuilt in 1892 after a fire, the mill was used commercially until 1968. It is now a museum and park run by Chase County preserving the state's last working water-powered mill. The mill, headrace, and dam were added to the National Register of Historic Places as a historic district in 1988.

Commercial mill[edit]

The town of Hamilton, later renamed Champion, was created as part of the inrush of settlers to the area in 1886. The location of the town was chosen because a natural three-foot (one meter) rock waterfall on the Frenchman Creek was deemed a prime site for a mill. Thomas Scott acquired land and water rights in exchange for his promise to build a mill on the site. An earthen dam and a mill were built and production of flour and animal feed began in 1889. The mill was rebuilt after a December 1891 fire and was back in operation a year later. The mill was expanded over the years, switching exclusively to feed in 1945. The site was used commercially by successive owners until it closed in 1968.[2]

Park[edit]

The mill complex was purchased by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission in 1969. The mill became the Champion Mill State Historical Park and State Recreation Area; recreation had long been a part of the historical use of the mill pond and adjacent picnic and camping area. The mill building became a museum.[2]

The mill complex was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1988 for being a well-preserved and long-running example of mills common to the late-19th/early-20th centuries, and because its mill pond was a significant recreational destination in southwestern Nebraska. The historic district comprises the 1887 dam, headrace, and the three-story frame mill whose oldest sections was built in 1892.[2]

In 2013 ownership of Champion Mill State Historical Park (SHP) and the adjacent 11-acre (4.5 ha) State Recreation Area (SRA) were transferred from the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission to Chase County.[3] The site includes the lake created by the impoundment of Frenchman Creek.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ a b c Hajek, Timothy J. (1988-02-24). "National Register of Historic Places Registration Form: Champion Mill" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-02-05. 
  3. ^ Carolyn Lee (July 8, 2013). "Champion Mill, Lake transfer to Chase County ownership". The Wauneta Breeze. Retrieved 20 December 2014. 
  4. ^ "Champion Mill SHP and SRA to Change Hands July 1". Nebraska Game and Parks. June 18, 2013. Retrieved 20 December 2014.