Spring Event 2021

Phelps Mill

Sue Granger, keynote speaker

Tuesday, June 29, 2021, 7:00-8:30 p.m.
The webinar is now past.

Related to our status as a Consulting Party in the Phelps Mill Section 106 review, MNSAH is hosting a special presentation on the mill’s history and significance. Historical consultant Susan Granger, principal at Gemini Research in Morris, Minn., will summarize the extensive research she conducted as an initial consultant to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS), lead federal agency for the project.

PhelpsMill-Mead-Hunt photo-2021-05-05-035 PhelpsMill-Mead-Hunt photo-2021-05-05-014 PhelpsMill-Mead-Hunt photo-2021-05-05-002 01-334-250-Sue 01-221-250-Sue
Photo credit: Sue Granger, Gemini Research


The Phelps Mill Dam Fish Passage Project, initially discussed in our September 2019 newsletter along with MNSAH’s role, seeks to substantially alter most of the historic mill dam to facilitate fish passage on the Otter Tail River. None of the currently recommended alternatives will preserve the dam by constructing a fish passage around the dam.

The National Register-listed flour mill was built in 1889 as the Maine Roller Mills in Maine Township, Otter Tail County. The significant stone dam, subject of the proposal, replaced an earlier timber dam in 1908. In her work, Sue examined the significance of the dam and its intimate relationship to the visual and aural experience of the mill’s waterpower, in addition to its importance as a central engineering feature of the site. Then, using a multi-state review, Sue determined that the entire Phelps Mill historic district is among the most complete historic milling districts remaining in the Upper Midwest.

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