For an overview, see the article of March 29, 2015, in the Santa Fe New Mexican here.


“Save the Saint Vrain Mill”
Overview: In 2013, several members of the Mora community established The Saint Vrain Mill Preservation and Historical Foundation for the specific purpose of buying and restoring the St Vrain Mill in Mora. The mill was successfully purchased for a total price of $27,000. We are soliciting membership in the Foundation as well as donations because attention has now shifted to the much larger and expensive task of restoration and adapting it to a community purpose.
About the Mill:
“The St. Vrain Mill in Mora, New Mexico was built in 1864 by Ceran St. Vrain. It is a stone structure and is the most dominant structure in Mora today. In 1972 the mill was added to the National Register of Historic Places and in 2002 it was added to the List of Ten Most Endangered Historical Places in New Mexico. The stone structure of the mill is 50 feet by 40 feet. It is three stories high with the third story being wood siding From “A Brief History of the St. Vrain Mill” by Ray Marchi,
available at 2016 will present significant challenges. We will need to raise considerably more money than last year if we are to continue repairs in a timely manner. There are sources of potential funding that are available to us now that we own the Mill. While we solicit and appreciate any financial support you can continue to give us, the most important thing you can do for the Foundation is help spread the word about our efforts and goals. We realize that supporting an effort such as ours requires a certain level of faith, especially if you are not directly involved in our day-to-day activities. Please go to our website for a financial overview that gives you an accounting of funds raised and significant expenditures.

About the Foundation:
The Saint Vrain Mill Preservation and Historical Foundation is a not for profit
corporation registered in New Mexico. It also has 501 (c) (3) federal tax-exempt status. While the Foundation’s current focus is on the Mill itself, its charter also provides for acquisition of other properties in Mora related to the life of Ceran St. Vrain. Membership in the Foundation is open to individuals, businesses and organizations.

For more information, contact Merl Witt (575) 387-5615,
Membership/Contribution – 2016
Name: __________________________________________
Mailing Address: ____________________________________________________
__ Annual Membership
__ $25 Individual/Family; __ $10 Student; __$20 Senior __$100 Business/Organization
__ Additional contribution
Mail to our address above, or visit our website and use PayPal. All contributions are tax deductible.


For full information, visit  and contribute to the renovation fund.


LATEST UPDATE (November 6, 2016)

Message and good news from Merl Witt,
President, St Vrain Mill Preservation and Historical Foundation

To St Vrain Mill Foundation Members and Contributors.

There has been an unexpected development in our Mill stabilization and wall repair project.  USDA has asked us to expand the scope of the project to include the restoration of at least the first floor for use as a community facility.  Instead of a project of several steps over three or four years, they are encouraging us to take on a larger project with a completion date of two years or less.

We originally decided on a phased approach for a couple of reasons.  One was we weren’t sure what the community use or uses should be, and the other was we didn’t want to commit the Foundation to a large loan that may be difficult to repay. Since then, the idea of restoring the first floor into a cultural center featuring the history of the generational families of the Mora Valley has generated a great deal of support.   Also, while the new loan will be much larger, maybe twice as large, the repayment period can be up to 40 years instead of just ten, making the annual payments easier to handle.

We are working with an architect now to design the changes we will need to make to the building, such as handicap access and electrical service, and to come up with a total project cost.  Once that is in hand, we will submit a modified application to USDA.  The restoration of the second and third floors are not part of this proposal.

While we can expect a modest income stream from visitor donations, perhaps an admission fee, once the Mill is open to the public, cash flow and loan repayment will be a challenge.  USDA would like us to maintain a cash reserve to cover loan payments for the first several years while we continue to develop additional grant sources and expand support from the community.  While we don’t know just now what these reserves should be, we think with the anticipated membership fees, annual fundraisers, and most important, the pledges many of you submitted, we already have the ability to meet that requirement.

While our path to “Saving the Mill” will continue to have some twists and turns, the end goal is very clear, achievable, and worthwhile. We, the Foundation Board, thank all of you for your support, faith, and encouragement.


IMPORTANT: I have changed the place where visitors to this website can make and reply to comments. This became necessary because comments were made on the various pages and so they could not be tracked properly. Comments should now be made at the BOTTOM OF THE PAGE “FORUM & COMMENTS”, if you want other people to see them and reply (or directly to me at . I have disabled the comments feature on the other pages. The comments that you made on various pages in the past are in my personal log, I will try to shift them to the new page, but until then the old comments will remain on the page where they were originally made.

I reply directly to the comments by e-mail to the sender, as well as occasionally through this website. This is for purely practical reasons in managing the website.