Today, the mill at Canal and Main (state Route 183) streets is owned and operated by the Stark County Park District. Miller Glenn Elliott processes grain there for local farmers.

Parks spokeswoman Lynn Sabino said the mill will become a trailhead for two future trails: the Sandy & Beaver Canal Trail and the Pleasant Valley Trail.

It will also be an attraction along Northeast Ohio's historic corridor. The boundaries of the Ohio & Erie National Heritage Canalway were modified to add Magnolia to the canalway, which stretches from Cleveland through Akron and Canton to New Philadelphia.

The park district bought the mill in 2005, along with the canal behind the mill, an old railroad depot, an old stable, an adjoining lumber yard, water rights to the canal and Lock 24 on the canal.

The district hopes to hire a company by June 15 to begin the initial work in adding a fire-suppression system and making the mill accessible to the handicapped, Sabino said.

The park district has a $179,000 federal grant from the National Park Service for initial restoration work at the mill. This money must be matched by $179,000 from the park district.

Park staffers Sarah Buell and Nick Morrison said total restoration will cost about $750,000, and the park district has submitted additional grant requests to help fund more of the work.

Very little of the equipment inside the mill is original; most has been replaced over the years, said Jo Lane Elson, whose husband, Augustus R. Elson II, is the great-great grandson of the mill's founder.

The mill is open weekdays and Saturday mornings to sell grain, corn meal, animal feed, grass seed, straw and salt. Public tours of the old mill are offered at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Thursdays for a fee of $2 a person.

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