Otonabee Conservation has entered into a new lease agreement with The Friends of Hope Mill which will see the group assume the role of stewards of the 19th century water-powered sawmill.
“Otonabee Conservation applauds the members of The Friends of Hope Mill for their initiative, commitment, and enthusiasm in their mission to maintain the character and operation of the historic Hope Mill for the enjoyment of area residents and visitors to the region,” stated Dan Marinigh, Chief Administrative Officer of Otonabee Conservation. “The Hope Mill, once the mainstay of an emigrant family from Scotland, remains on the banks of the Indian River as a tribute to the pioneer industry that served the settlers of Peterborough County. It is very encouraging that an enthusiastic group has stepped forward to take on such a significant stewardship role.”
“The founding members of The Friends of Hope Mill have played a lead role in the restoration of the Mill and offering public tours for many years. We’re exceptionally grateful for the support we’ve received from the heritage community and local businesses who have supported our efforts. Many thanks to the Board of Directors and staff at Otonabee Conservation for engaging us in such a positive way”, explained Alex McCubbin, President of the Friends of Hope Mill.
McCubbin is pleased that The Friends of Hope Mill will continue to operate the sawmill, selling lumber products, offering public tours of the Mill, museum and workshops (such as the children’s birdhouse- building workshop) and hosting community events that feature the historic significance of the Mill.
The Hope Mill was acquired by Otonabee Conservation from the late Jack Hope in 1966 and operated as a demonstration sawmill until the mid-1990’s when a lack of funding forced its closure. In 2001, after an arson’s blaze damaged the Mill, the Hope Mill Restoration Volunteers came together to breathe life back into this historic landmark of Peterborough County.