John H. Nikolai - To the Editor:


To the editor:

We at the Motor Mill Foundation wish to thank our friends and supporters for their enthusiastic response to our gala. It is because of you the “Friends of the Motor Mill” that the bridge is once more in place at the historic Motor Mill Site.  

The replacement of the bridge was a constant reminder from Clayton County residents who used Galaxy Road for years as a shortcut to the Elkader county seat from the southwest when Grandview was still a gravel road. 

The new bridge is constructed with certain mechanical and design improvements to the original bridge, plus the steel is of a chemistry that will form a rust coating so it will never need paint or require regular maintenance. 

The design also will accommodate the road graders, heaviest fire trucks and tallest ambulances currently in use. 

The construction of the bridge was displayed by a series of pictures at the “gala” event that were taken by Larry Stone, one of our board members, showing the incremental progress of building and erection. The lack of rainfall made it possible to utilize the sand bar in the Turkey River as a staging area for the construction by Minnowa Construction out of Harmony, Minn. In addition to the slide show, a historical presentation was made outlining the timeline of the Motor Mill Site by Marlys Svendsen, a historic project specialist from the mid-1800s to the present.  

This event was co-sponsored by the Turkey River Recreational Corridor, and because of the high water and fast-moving current in the river, the “Turkey River Dash” became the “Turkey River Grab.” First-place was won by Harold Krambeer (#83), second place by Erin Dittmer (#7) and last place by Derek Stone (#18).

TRRC is continuing to work at the completion of a trail linking Clermont, Elgin, Elkader and Motor Mill that will become available for walking, biking horseback riding, etc. We also want to acknowledge the Elkader Lions Club for providing a lunch, displays by Silos & Smokestacks, TRRC and others.

It’s important to note that the Klink family, who owned the property for over 80 years and farmed the area, saw the significance of the Motor Mill Site and worked with the Iowa Historical Society, along with Clayton County Conservation, in the sale to make sure the preservation of the Motor Mill and the town of Motor would never be forgotten. 

We members of the Motor Mill Foundation are very aware of our responsibility to preserve and restore this site and thank everyone for your continued support and suggestions as the project continues.

Mother Nature shone down on us last Saturday, May 4, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and shortly thereafter continued to alleviate the drought situation in northeast Iowa with a gentle rain. We wish to thank all our sponsors, contributors and participants for making this a success during this National Historic Preservation Month of May.


John H. Nikolai, President

Motor Mill Foundation

Phone: 563-245-1516

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