Nicoll Grist Mill Restoration

Thanks to a lot of hard work and generous donations, the Friends of Connetquot are proud to announce the restoration of the Nicoll Grist Mill.  Watch as John Remmer takes you on a detailed tour of the Grist Mill and explains the restoration project.

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: Donate to the Friends, upgrade or renew your membership or attend the Friends functions.

See the Progression of the Grist Mill Restoration Project

The Grist Mill in AutumnNewsday Story

October 5, 2019 - "Oakdale Native Brings Nicoll Grist Mill to Life in Connetquot State Park" by Kevin Redding

On a quiet Sunday night, nestled in Oakdale’s sprawling 3,473-acre park preserve, a large grist mill that has been shuttered since the 1880s — and was on the verge of collapse not long ago — rumbles to life...Read the complete article

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 article.)

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 more.

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!