Historic Committee to discuss residential project at historic mill site

The members of the Historic Preservation Committee will discuss the impact of the ruins of Thatcher Mill and Elevator Company along 100 South St. on a proposed residential housing development during their regular meeting today.

LOGAN – At their regular meeting today, the members of Logan City’s Historic Preservation Committee (HPC) are slated to discuss some local ruins that could impact proposed plans for a multi-family residential housing development.

That discussion will focus on the ruins of the former Thatcher Milling and Elevator Company at 68 West 100 South in Logan.

That site has been previously judged to be historically significant because of its age and contribution to the early economy of Cache Valley.

But city officials say that plans to create a six-story, 75-unit residential development at 100 West and 100 South will contribute to the achievement of Logan’s current economic development goals.

At a Sept. 1 meeting of the Logan City Council, the development plan was presented as a workshop item by Paul Willie, the president of Mountain States Property Management. In their capacity as the Logan Redevelopment Agency (RDA), the city council members are considering a $500,000 grant from the RDA’s Affordable Housing Fund to support the project.

The so-called Mill Creek development is one of several projects that Logan mayor Holly Daines is now proposing to broaden the scope of downtown revitalization efforts. City officials say the addition of residential housing on 100 South would contribute to Logan’s community development goals by growing the city’s property tax base, increasing population in the downtown area and encouraging additional redevelopment projects.

Willie told members of the city council that his firm is eager to move ahead with the Mill Creek project, but potential obstacles are a canal that flows through the property and the Thatcher mill ruins.

“Thatcher” was definitely a name to conjure with in Cache Valley during the late 19th Century.

The Thatcher family – headed by George W. Thatcher and wife Eunice Caroline Young Thatcher — moved to Logan in 1876, where its patriarch proceeded to found a small business empire.

He served as superintendent of the Utah & Northern Railroad Company until 1882. G.W. Thatcher was also named a trustee of the Brigham Young College, which was located on 100 South at the present site of Logan High School.

In 1883, he partnered with Moses Thatcher, H.E. Hatch, W.D. Hendricks, S.T. Josselyn and W.A. Rossiter to establish Logan’s first banking enterprise, the Thatcher Brothers & Banking Company.

By 1990, the Thatcher banking business was successful enough to construct a three-story headquarters at Center and Main streets. Until its destruction by fire in 1912, that structure housed the Thatcher Brothers Bank on its lower levels and the nationally renowned Thatcher Opera House on its upper floors.

Nowadays, all that remains of the Thatcher family holdings in Cache Valley are the restored Thatcher-Young Mansion at 35 West 100 South and the nearby ruins of the Thatcher Milling and Elevator Company.

The state Historic Preservation Office notes that the Thatcher mill was the first flour mill established in Cache Valley in 1860. With the addition of a grain elevator in 1886, its capacity was 40,000 bushels of wheat per day. By 1900, the Thatcher mill was the largest in Utah and Idaho and remained in operation until the Great Depression in the 1930s.

The meeting of the HPC is scheduled at noon in the City Council Chambers at 290 North 100 West St.

Although no decisions will be made at that time, Mayor Daines has invited all interested parties to attend that meeting or watch it live on the city’s Facebook page.

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