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Historic Ball Mill May Be Returning To Tuolumne County

Big Oak Flat, Ca — Another piece of history currently on display at the Pollardville Ghost Town theme park may soon be returning back to Tuolumne County.

Earlier this month, the Jamestown Jail was picked up and moved from Pollardville to Rocca Park in Jamestown. Tuolumne County Board of Supervisor Mark Thornton says a similar effort is underway to reclaim a historic ball mill that was at one time in the Jacksonville area, a community which is now buried beneath the waters of Lake Don Pedro.

“Myself and a few other people have been working together as a loose knit team, negotiating the relocation of the mill back to Tuolumne County,” says Thornton.Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors will be asked if they will approve, conceptually, the county eventually becoming the recipient of the mill, and the county agreeing to have the mill reassembled on property the county owns in Big Oak Flat.”

Thornton notes that the project would also have to go before the County Historic Preservation Review Commission, and have a CEQA review.

Thornton says there is a six to eight week time span in which they would need to have the mill removed from Pollardville. He says the challenge will be raising money for the site work, and building a structure to house the mill. The intent would be to have the equipment operational within a few years.

Thornton estimates that the project would cost a similar amount to that of Jamestown Jail, which was around $80,000. He says individuals have already pledged financial support for the project, and some businesses have expressed an interest in supporting the proposal.

Written by BJ Hansen