Well, there’s disappointing news and good news.
The disappointing news: the owner of the Kitten Mill responded to our offer by simply saying he doesn’t want to sell. That wasn’t altogether a surprise, as he’d said that before; nevertheless, it was a disappointment. We would have liked to know what his reasons were so we could reframe and re-submit our proposal.
The good news: We had a Zoom meeting (with Michael Rikley-Lancaster, curator of the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum) to plan for next steps. Here’s what we decided:
First: we will stay in contact with the owner, see if we can learn what his goals are, and work with him to try to create a win-win situation.
Next: There are both financial and legislative tools that can be used to make the project happen – and we’re going to see about accessing them, on the assumption that a win-win solution can be achieved.
And: while we’re focused in restoring the Kitten Mill, we’re alert to other heritage projects that are within reach.
Council is interested in creating a Heritage Committee, which will allow for the recognition of other Township buildings with important histories: for instance, do you know in which Lanark building the first municipal meeting was held? Have you ever wondered about the George Street house with the cupola roof? Do you know where the victim of a local duel is buried? What about the prospect of holding an annual Open Doors Lanark tour, complete with historic information and local-packaged picnics?
There’s no shortage of ideas, and with the wonderful support of the community, we intend to bring them to fruition.