Help Save the Grist Mill
Help the Friends of Connetquot Today
The Friends of Connetquot is presently working with the State of
New York to restore the grist mill, which is a landmark of the
Preserve and a registered National Historic structure. It is the
only surviving "tub wheel" mill on the east coast. With your
can make this structure a working mill and preserve it for generations
to come. Plans have been prepared and work has started but we need money
to complete the mill restoration and to continue funding improvements to
maintain and enhance the Park.
The Friends have already undertaken other projects large and small,
including the fire suppression for the main building; restoration of the
kitchen; installation of interpretive signs, a trail marker and new
bridges; and purchasing grooming equipment for the trails. Additionally,
the Friends have also hired a firm to study the feasibility of
converting the ice house into a library, research area, and historic
document storage facility in the near future.
We appeal to all lovers of the outdoors: equestrians, fishermen,
hikers, bird watchers and families who can appreciate the value of
having such a pristine oasis in our midst. All who visit Connetquot
State Park Preserve readily acknowledge it is a treasure worthy of
everyone’s support. The Friends of Connetquot is a 501c charity and can
receive tax deductible contributions from individuals and corporations.
There are many ways you can help: Send a contribution using the form below,
renew your membership, attend the Friends functions,
buy some of our logo
shirts or bags.
Donate to the Grist Mill Restoration
Send contributions to: Friends of Connetquot, P.O. Box 472,
Oakdale, NY 11769 or USE THE FORM BELOW TO DONATE
Payment will be submitted via PayPal. Please note that you do not need to have a PayPal account to make a credit card payment via PayPal.
When you're redirected to the PayPal page, simply choose the option to "Pay with
a debit or credit card, or Bill Me Later."
UPDATE: Suffolk County News Story
August 14, 2014 - "Almost Ready to Grind"
by Liz Finnegan
Today, the grist mill at Connetquot River State Park Preserve is barely recognizable to those who have seen the 18th-century structure slowly deteriorate over the years. New cedar shingles and crisp, white trimmed windows are a welcome sight...Read
the complete article (NOTE: A free registration
on the Suffolk County News site is required to read the full
Nicoll Grist Mill! Restoration Is Now Underway!
Update: August 15, 2013
For more, be sure to read
the article in the August 22, 2013 Islip Bulletin - "Where There's A
Mill There's a Way"
If you've been to the Preserve recently, you will no doubt have
noticed a flurry of activity at the historic Nicoll Grist Mill. We are
happy to report that after much time in planning and with the support of
our members and friends—the next phase of the restoration is now
underway and will be completed within the next few months.
The Friends are thrilled to restore this important example of Long
Island's colonial past. Constructed between 1697 and 1751, it is
signiﬁcant as the only surviving example of a horizontal or tub wheel
mill in the State. These wheels power the mill and were developed
through a technology that can claim its origins from Greece in 85 B.C.!
It is also unique because, unlike other mills in the area, such as
Roslyn and Stony Brook, it is still on its original site with its
building and machinery almost intact.
We have hired WGP Construction, Inc. to do the work. Because there
was extensive insect damage in the Mill frame, WGP is slowly replacing
the compromised beams, as well as the roof, shingles, windows, and
doors. All of which are being finished to the utmost historical
accuracy. When complete, the structure will be sound and able to support
working mechanisms we plan to install to make the Mill function once
The Friends' Board is very grateful to the many donors who have
supported the project. This backing helped the Friends succeed in
securing half of the funding, which consists of two reimbursable, or
matching, grants from the Environmental Protection Fund through the Long
Island Regional Development Council and the Department of Parks,
Recreation and Historic Preservation. However, this means matching funds
will have to be obtained prior to accessing grant monies. We have
matching resources available
from private and business supporters, as well as members of the Friends,
but we still need a little over $100,000 to fully cover the cost of
$432,742 for this work. An online fundraising campaign is currently in
the works; more information will be sent soon. We hope that you
will help us raise what is needed to complete this important project and
ask your friends, neighbors, and colleagues to do the same. All will
benefit from the Mill project—but we won't be able to complete it
without your help.
Certainly, all Connetquot Preserve visitors will agree it will be a
special feature to have there. The Friends think so, which is why we
have taken on its restoration and plan to eventually open the Mill as a
museum dedicated to Long Island's colonial heritage. It will be a
welcome addition—one that celebrates the Preserve‘s history. Moreover,
the Mill will be a new attraction for loyal visitors to explore and help
introduce new visitors to the Park, such as those interested in colonial
and early technological history. The possibilities are endless!