Oldest grist-mill in North America, getting makeover

Oldest grist-mill in North America, getting makeover

Moulin du Petit-Pré, Château-Richer, Québec. Photo credit: MrX.

Château-Richer (Quebec) 10 April 2015 – Built in 1695, making it North America’s oldest commercial food producing plant, the old grist mill in Château-Richer known as Moulin du Petit-Pré, is getting a makeover.

A group of five different individuals headed up by M. Paul-Arthur Huot, are ready to invest in the old mill and bring it back to life as a tourist and historical attraction. Calling it a local “gem”, the group wants to utilise the mill’s historical past and unique architecture as a centre for interpretation, receptions, and even as an art gallery. The building has a large reception hall and facilities to accommodate a bakery.

M. Huot, 61 who himself is a grain enthusiast having an agricultural background, is very optimistic about the project and at the same time hopes he will give back to the community by developing the old mill. The building was renovated in the ‘60’s and then left abandoned since 2013. He explains that everything is functional and just needs some TLC and some serious cleaning and oiling to get the old grist wheel turning again.

The group has no intention of asking the government for money to help finance the rejuvenation and hopes that private investors will come across with some much needed money to follow through on its promise. They are hoping some tourist companies will be interested enough to invest and market the mill as an added attraction to the area.

There is also talk of creating an Amis du Moulin club which could help finance the upkeep once the old wheels start turning.

M. Huot and his friends are hoping to have an open house this fall with an Art and painting symposium, kicking-off the mills new vocation.

The address is 7007 avenue Royale in Château-Richer on the way to Mont Ste. Anne.

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