History, hawks featured this month at Arcola Mills

ST. CROIX FALLS, Wis.:  History and birds of prey are the programs set at Arcola Mills through October 26, National Parks Service officials announced.

Historic restoration contractor Rolf Dittmann will offer guided tours of the 1847 Greek Revival Mower and Van Meier mansion and share his experiences from the reconstruction process at 1 and 2 p.m. Oct. 21.

Arcola will host raptors from Warner Nature Center from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday and 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday and Oct. 21. Visitors can see the birds up close and learn about raptor ecology from Warner Nature Center volunteers.

“An Ode to Stillwater: The John Runk Films” will be screened at 10 and 11 a.m. Oct. 20 by Brent Peterson, executive director of the Washington County Historical Society.

Peterson will introduce two showings of this collection of 8mm and 16mm motion film (now on DVD). Runk, a prolific Stillwater photographer, produced and preserved historic photographs and film footage of Stillwater and the scenic St. Croix River Valley during much of 20th century.

Volunteer docents, Jim and Dian Gardner, will present a brief overview of the storied layers of natural and cultural history at Arcola Mills in “10,000 Years of History at Arcola Mills in Under an Hour” at 1 and 2 p.m. Oct.

All the programs are free and open to the public.

Arcola Mills is functioning as a St. Croix National Scenic Riverway visitor information center from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through Oct. 26. In addition to great river views, visitors can watch a film about the Riverway and view exhibits to learn about the history of Arcola Mills and its surrounding environment. Admission to the historic site is free.

Arcola Mills is located at 12905 Arcola Trail North in Stillwater. The best access is from the north end of Arcola Trail (the turn is located approximately six miles north of Stillwater and 4.5 miles south of Marine on St. Croix).

Located six miles north of Stillwater, Minnesota, Arcola Mills was the site of a small and prosperous village founded at the start of the lumbering era in the 1840s.  The site features the Mower House, a restored Greek Revival mansion built in 1847, and one of the largest undeveloped parcels of land on the shoreline of the nationally designated wild and scenic St. Croix River.