Upon taking control of the mill, the owners immediately embarked on a long-term care program of
preservation and restoration. While being well preserved, the mill does have some immediate needs to insure
that small problems do not become larger ones.
Currently, the mill is being examined and assessed by the renowned mill-wright Derek Ogden. Upon completion of
this assessment, the owners will then have a baseline from which to move forward in the future.
Also underway is
a complete photographic and written documentation of the structure. These documents, when completed, will provide a
complete and detailed description of the mill, its architecture, and the many modifications made over the years by generations
of millers and owners. The mill itself is structurally sound and after being restored in the 1980's by Glen Hofecker,
it is in fine condition.
There are many steps that need to be undertaken in working with a largely original structure to protect it for
future generations. After a thorough cleaning, the mill will be treated with Boracare to
kill any existing insect and termite infestations and to protect the aged wood for many years to come.
A previous owner of the mill removed many pieces of the wood roller equipment and tossed them in the workshed on
the property. There they were exposed to the elements and insects and aside from the metal fittings are now worthless. They will
serve as guides for the manufacturing of replacements.
When the mill was upgraded with metal Fitz gearing and roller milling equipment around 1895, a portion of the foundation was removed
to provide access to the gear pit so the new equipment could be installed. The foundation was not rebuilt, but instead the hole was
covered with wood siding. It was recommended that the foundation be repaired in this area. To that end, a large section of the
side of the mill that was covered in wood was filled in to match the foundation(note difference in colors of stone).
It is the intention of the owners to restore the mill to its configuration and appearance of the early 1900's when
roller milling equipment was in widespread use. In the case of the Andrew Zirkle Mill, this would mean that its millstones
and roller milling equipment would both be operational.