We are happy and humbled to celebrate another year in the life of our community’s 139 year old Mill, and her 1st as Sugartree Mill Co. Join us as we reminisce about her past and look forward to what’s next!
“The Mill,” as our city affectionately calls her, has a long and resilient history, but no matter her purpose, has always contributed towards the livelihood and enrichment of the people of this community. How many hands have lovingly made bread from her flour? (Gristmill, 1881-1912) How many 4-H animals were raised on her grain? (H.A. Barrett & Son Feed Mill 1918-1947) She was repossessed by the bank in 1912, and was damaged in a fire in 1947. By 1978, The Mill became a storage building for Maher Construction, and then morphed again into a recycling center. The Mill is a formidable establishment, always dying and coming to life again, much like the life cycle of wheat, the crop she was built to work. But thanks to her sturdy walls, and the ingenuity and dedication of people in our community, she is always rebuilt.
In 1994, with the dream of an antique shop, Robert and David Mead purchased the historic Mill and got to work. Shoppes At the Old Mill was born, and we owe many thanks to the Meads for their vision and decades of labor in this establishment.
And so our little baby Sugartree Mill Co. is turning one, but in another sense, she is older and wiser than all of us. She is our grandmother, our wise old lady of Wilmington. It is in this age-old pattern of birth and growth, love and struggle, that we model our store.
We have sought to honor the past by restoring some of The Mill’s former beauty. Local Mason, Jeff Baughman, recently rebuilt one of her arches, originally made for horse and carriage to pass under. We hope you’ll stop in and admire the craftsmanship of our beautifully restored arch! And, of course, you’ll continue to find an assortment of quality antiques within our walls.
We have sought to continue in the long tradition of community enrichment that The Mill has brought to our city. Our recent and upcoming workshops are a way for us at Sugartree Mill Co. to get to know you, our community, and for us to provide opportunities to enrich and teach so that you can return home with new skills and deeper friendships.
We have begun partnerships with other small businesses and makers in order to bring quality home goods to our community. We are always sourcing items that we believe can enhance your home life through home design and functional objects, as well as add a touch of beauty to your day.
The Mill is a sweet old spot in our community, and if there’s anything she has taught us in our first year getting to know her, it’s that nothing is quite so fun as mixing the old with the new.
The journey is just beginning. Cheers to The Mill!