Motor Mill Gala Details

Motor Mill Gala
Saturday, May 4th 11 -2 pm

Motor Mill & new bridge

Motor Mill & new bridge

Northeast Iowans will celebrate the 2012 reconstruction of the Turkey River bridge and the ongoing restoration at the Motor Mill Historic site at a festival from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 4, at Motor Mill, southeast of Elkader.

The public is invited to tour the bridge and Mill, visit displays from partners in the Motor Mill and Turkey River preservation efforts, and hear remarks from leaders of the conservation projects. There will be a continuous showing of photos of the bridge construction, and a program by historian Marlys Svendsen about the history of the Motor Mill site.

Exhibitors will include the Iowa Natural heritage Foundation, Turkey River Recreational Corridor, Silos and Smokestacks National Heritage Area, Clayton and Fayette County Tourism groups, and Upper Mississippi Gaming. Music will be provided by the National Brass quintet.

Tours and a food concession operated by the Elkader Lions Club will open at 11 a.m. The formal program will begin at 1 p.m. Featured speakers will include Mark Ackelson, president of the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation; Don Menken, former director of the Clayton County Conservation Board; and representatives of Silos and Smokestacks, the Motor Mill Foundation, and the Clayton County Board of Supervisors. The program will conclude with the unveiling of a plaque dedicating the new bridge.

A “turkey dash” will follow the formal ceremonies. For a $5 donation, participants will be given a floating turkey to release in the river in a race to win prizes donated by Motor Mill and Turkey River Recreational Corridor supporters.

For more information, call the Clayton County Conservation Board at 563-245-1516

Motor Mill is honored by Silos & Smokestacks

Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area (SSNHA) honored the best in agricultural heritage preservation during the Annual Golden Silo Awards Luncheon, Wednesday, April 3 at the Black’s Building Sky Room in Waterloo, IA. Golden Silo Awards are presented to individuals and organizations whose contributions demonstrate excellence in preserving and telling America’s agricultural story.

The Motor Mill won the following awards:

Outstanding Preservation in Agriculture
Honors an individual, organization, project, business, agency, or local government who has shown extraordinary effort in preserving the icons of American agriculture.

People’s Choice “Site of the Year”
Honors a SSNHA Partner Site who has been voted for by the public to be their favorite “Site of the Year.” Finalists included Wapsipinicon Mill Museum, Independence, and Hansen’s Farm Fresh Dairy, Hudson.

Vote for Motor Mill to be Travel Iowa’s Cover Photo!

Motor Mill, Iowa Travel Guide Cover UPDATE:  The winner of our Iowa Travel Guide Cover Contest was Jessica Rilling of Cedar Rapids. The photo is of a kayaker on the Turkey River near our Motor Mill Historic Site. Thanks to all who submitted, voted and shared!


Travel Iowa is hosting a Facebook vote for their next cover photo. They received over 600 entries for the cover contest and have narrowed it down to 3 finalists. One is a photo from Okoboji, one is a photo at Maquoketa Caves and one is a photo of a kayaker on the Turkey River just in front of Motor Mill.

So here’s the deal with the voting:

Voting is open and goes through February 1.
Each person can vote once per day. On February 4 the cover with the most votes will be announced on Travel Iowa’s Facebook page and declared the winner. Here is the shareable link that you can post on Facebook and Twitter to encourage your networks to vote: 

The only way to vote is on Facebook and it is moderately annoying to go through the process since you must first “Like” Travel Iowa and then you must accept a Facebook application to allow for polling. (Travel Iowa has assured that the polling application is secure as well as relatively easy to remove the application once the voting is over.) When you have successfully voted there will be a small box that says “you voted” and it will post to your wall. (Sidenote: There is an option when this box pops up to select a custom audience – just like any wall post – so folks can make it private – aka “only me” – if they prefer)

Please pass along this good news and encourage your networks to support the Turkey River photo. It would be pretty cool to get Motor Mill on the cover. WhooHoo! And feel free to forward this.