At the May 8, 2012 Clayton County Conservation Board meeting the board approved the low bid for the bridge project to Minnowa Construction from Harmony MN for $906,322.

The steel for the bridge has been ordered and work will be started in early fall of 2012.

The Motor Mill Foundation continues to raise funds for the remaining $90,000. Your support is appreciated.

Motor Mill Bridge Budget
 Abutment, Pier and Bridge Construction  $  906,322
 Engineering  $  142,000
 Construction inspection  $    21,000
 Estimated Total   Expenses                    $1,069,322
 Funding Sources                                  Secured
FEMA  $ 432,427
 REAP  $  463,000
 UMGC  $  20,000
 Great Places  $   33,000
 Construction inspection by County Engineer office  $  11,000
 Capital Fund Campaign  $  22,845
 TOTAL                $978,089
  Remaining Needed Dollars as of 8/30/2012      $  87,050

 View the plans!

Motor Mill Bridge ProjectDonations can be sent to:

Motor Mill Foundation
29862 Osborne Rd
Elkader IA 52043


Clayton County Conservation
29862 Osborne Rd
Elkader IA 52043

Donations to the Motor Mill Foundation, a 501c3 organization, or the Clayton County Conservation Board are 100% tax deductible.


Motor Mill Bridge Budget — 1 Comment

  1. You probably already have this information at hand. Here’s an article from the Arlington News September 17, 1964.

    familiar spot to area catfishermen is lofty Motor Mill, located on the Turkey river near Elkader. It stands as a fitting monument to one of Clayton County’s famous ghost towns. It is one of the last of a chain of
    mills which once lined the Turkey River.Motor is reached by taking a
    gravel road which leads off of the highway south of Elkader.
    The mill looms up like a giant sentinel as one winds down from the bluffs into the picturesque valley.
    Stretching across the river is an old but substantial steel bridge and just beyond the opposite entrance is the massive stone building.
    A farm residence, a cooperage plant and other smaller stone buildings fit into a general picture.
    The mill was started about 1845 by John Thompson. Starting
    on a natural rock bottom, five foot thick walls were started with stone quarried from a nearby hill. The thickness of the walls was reduced as they went higher until they were only two feet thick at the 7th floor.
    A double rail track was laid along the hillside. A drum at the top of the hill overwhich the cable ran operated the two cars that carried stone down to the masons. The weight of the full car going down, drew the empty car up to the quarry. When finished, the structure was 60 feet long and 85 feet high. It cost $90,000. Its builder claimed the mill would stand as
    long as the adjacent cliffs from which the -stone walls were
    quarried. It was considered “A Mill Architects Dream.”
    With the start of the mill’s construction a town formed around it. Houses, a hotel, a cooperage and several taverns were built. The town was incorporated and given the name of Motor.
    For a time the town of Motor thrived and was a lively town and it appeared to have such a important and promising future that the Dubuque and Minnesota Railway decided to extend its McGregor and Elkader narrow gauge track to the milling center. Steamboats came up the river from the Mississippi.
    A flood washed out the railroad project and it was never finished. The old railway became one of lowas first one-way streets.
    Too narrow for horse and wagons to pass it was decided to reserve mornings for north bound traffic (Motor to Elkader) and afternoons for south bound
    (Elkader to Motor.) A succession of misfortunes brought an end to the booming Motor. First the flood washed out the railroad project and then
    followed several crop failures due to the drought, chinch bugs, and grasshoppers. The mill was finally forced to cease operations
    in the late 1870’s.
    Only a few scattered rocks remain of the 200 foot dam which once stood 12 feet high. The huge water wheel’ has disappeared.
    The old mill now still appears to be in an excellent state of preservation and is now used for farm storage.

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