Opening day is set for Saturday, May 5 from noon – 4 p.m. at Beckman Mill County Park, located west of Beloit. This will begin the season long celebration of the mill’s 150th birthday! For this special year, any paid membership of $100 or more will receive a limited edition wooden plaque. Raffle tickets will begin to be sold with the winners being drawn on Heritage Sunday.
Chili served with corn muffins made with cornmeal ground at the mill will be for sale in the shelter at the park. Pop, water, coffee and desserts will be available also. Also in the shelter, music will be provided with John Sheehan with his concertina (think polka). Tap your toes, clap your hands, dance or just enjoy!
An added attraction this year will be an attack dog demonstration at 1:30 by Deputy Nolan with a question and answer session after the presentation. He is a member of the Rock County Sheriff’s K-9 unit and trains other officers.
The mill began extensive renovations in 1990 with the formation of the Friends of Beckman Mill. The group continues its preservation efforts which have been accomplished by volunteers and their expertise in building, construction and engineering. The site has been listed on the National Register of Historical Places.
Corn grinding demonstrations will occur at the historic Beckman Mill. The cooperage/museum will be open for tours as well. New displays will depict what life was like in 1868 thanks to Dan Bartlett, curator at Beloit College. Gary Hess, author of Roll Out the Barrels book, will be in the cooperage with a display and books to sign and sell. Also located in the park are the Griinke Creamery and Gift Shop building which will be open to the public.
Mill tours are offered on Saturdays and Sundays, May through October from 1-4 p.m. or tours can be arranged by appointment. Other special events scheduled are: Ice Cream Social and Artists in the Park on July 15 and Heritage Sunday, Sept. 9. Beckman Mill County Park is located six miles west of Beloit at 11600 S. County Road H. For more information, call 608-751-1551 or email to: [email protected]