Land Conservancy seeks preservation of historic Kister Water Mill

Western Reserve Land Conservancy is working with conservation partners to help acquire, preserve, improve and operate Kister Water Mill, one of the nation’s oldest working water-powered mills.

The mill, located in Wayne County’s Clinton Township, eight miles southwest of Wooster, was built in 1816 and is iconic example of the county’s oldest industry.  In addition to the historic mill, the 20-acre property, which sits in both Clinton and Plain townships, contains a fragile, rare wetland ecosystem that will provide outdoor education and recreation opportunities for the public.

A campaign committee has been established to raise funds for the project.  The goal is to acquire the property and make necessary capital improvements so that by the mill’s 200th anniversary in 2016 it can be opened to the public as an operating history and education center.   It is projected that the mill – a unique example of a spring-fed water mill (most are powered by streams and rivers) – could attract 20,000 visitors per year and 500 students annually for education programs.

The mill is on the National Register of Historic Places. The project would also include improved public access through trails and a parking area.

Campaign committee members include David Noble, Greg Long, Doug Drushal, Mark Smucker, Maribeth Burns, Adam Briggs, Ron Holtman and Matt and Julie Kilbourne.

To donate or get involved in the campaign, contact Jon Logue at (440) 396-5528 or