Historic Preservation Committee to weigh demolition of historic Thatcher Mill ruins

The fate of the ruins of the historic Thatcher Mill at 74 West, 100 South will be discussed during a meeting of the city Historic Preservation Committee at noon on Monday, Mar. 15.

LOGAN – A meeting that may reveal the commitment of members of the Historic Preservation Committee (HPC) to the ongoing revitalization of downtown Logan is set for Monday, Mar. 15.

The HPC will conduct a public hearing to consider whether the owners of the Millcreek residential project on 100 South St. should be allowed to demolish the historic ruins of the Thatcher Mill and Elevator Company and incorporate some artifacts of that site into their ongoing construction project.

That meeting is schedule to begin at noon via teleconferencing technology.

Due to COVID-19 precautions, there will be no public meeting held at Logan City, according to Amanda Hovey of the city’s Community Development Department. Residents interested in following this issue will be able to access the meeting via Google Hangouts at meet.google.com/sec-pktd-duw or by phone call to 636-707-2517, using pin number 231 801 920.

“When we get to the agenda item where you wish to comment, “ Hovey advises, “you may speak … when recognized by the HPC chair. As always, comments are limited to three minutes per person and please make sure to state your name when it is your turn to speak.”

The proposed demolition of the Thatcher Mill ruin is the only item on the HPC agenda for Mar. 15.

The Millcreek residential development is the southern anchor of a revitalized downtown envisioned by Mayor Holly Daines stretching from 100 South to 400 North on the west side of Main Street.

The elements of that redevelopment effort are the Mill Creek housing project to the south, the recently approved city plaza replacing the Emporium on the city’s Center Block, a new library on the corner of 300 North and a possible commercial mixed-use development across that thoroughfare.

Another residential development is also in progress across Main St. along 100 East Street.

Construction of Phase 1 of the Millcreek residential complex, on the corner of 100 South and 100 West streets, is already underway.

City officials say the addition of residential housing on 100 South contributes 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.

The proposed Phase 2 of the Millcreek project is an additional six-story, 75-unit residential development. As explained by Paul Willie of Mountain States Property Management at a September 2020 meeting of the HPC, that extension of the residential complex would occupy most of the vacant southern side of 100 South St., straddling what remains of the Cache Valley’s oldest commercial mill.

The Thatcher Mill was originally constructed in 1860 as a saw-mill and was later transformed into a grist mill. With the addition of a grain elevator by Logan entrepreneurs G.W. and Moses Thatcher in 1886, the Thatcher flour mill was the largest in Utah and Idaho. The mill continued to operate until the Great Depression in the 1930s and finally burned to the ground in 1946.

Willie said that all that remains of the mill today is an el-shaped portion of its foundation that is now crumbling and covered in crude graffiti.

During informal discussion of this issue in September of 2020, HPC members expressed little enthusiasm for the extension of the Millcreek project unless it included plans to preserve the mill ruins or some sort of structure or plaza commemorating the mill’s history.

City officials have indicated Millcreek designers now plan to incorporate some rocks and mill artifacts into the Phase 2 residential complex. They also plan to redirect the canal along 100 South St. into its historic streambed.

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