Rehabilitation of the first floor of the Darden Mill is complete, and approved for occupancy as of fall 2013.
Several special events during the fall allowed visitors to see the exciting progress, including the newly installed exhibit “Discovering the Appalachian Forest” for the upcoming museum for Appalachian Forest Heritage Area.
The Darden Mill will be open to the public starting in spring 2014 – stay tuned for dates and special opening activities.
When open, the Mill will include:
• Appalachian Forest Discovery Center of Appalachian Forest Heritage Area
• West Virginia Railroad Museum
• Visitor information for the region and for railroad and forest heritage opportunities
• Artisan showcase, periodic demonstrations, and gift shop.
This exciting progress is the result of the hard work of C-HOPE members and volunteers, AFHA AmeriCorps members, our hard-working contractors and architect/historic preservation consultants. Funding has included WV Division of Culture and History grants from WV Commission on the Arts Cultural Facilities and Capital Resources grants, SHPO Development grant, and from USDA Rural Development Rural Business Enterprise Grant. Donations have included maple lumber donated by Myles Lumber plus substantial private donations as grant match.
Next stage will be continued work on stairs and upper floors, and participation in a planning partnership to build a path from the Elkins Depot to the Darden Mill.