Rockdale Mill: Rejuvenation

 © Photographed August 15, 2015
Erected by Dane County Parks
 Cambridge, Dane County, Wisconsin
42° 58.355′ N, 89° 1.889′ W
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The Mill
     Dane County purchased the property in 2003, and a two year study was conducted by the former Friends of Rockdale Mill to determine the viability of restoring the historic mill. The Rockdale Village board, upon the recommendation of the Friends of Rockdale Mill, voted to approve deconstruction of the mill and to salvage materials that could later be used for a future open shelter.
     As a component of the dam removal process, a River Protection Grant was awarded to Dane County by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for channel restoration and for improvement of water quality entering Koshkonong Creek. The grant was used to remove woody invasive plants, re-establish native plants, and to reshape and stabilize steambanks.
The Dam
Originally built in 1847 and the centerpiece of the community for over one hundred and fifty years, the aging dam was considered a safety hazard and could only be sold to a party with the financial resources to repair and maintain it. In the late 1990's, Dane County and the Village of Rockdale worked through a public process that ultimately made the decision to remove the dam. In 2000, the Rockdale Dam was breached and the 70 acre pond was drained. Dane County, as previously agreed, purchased the newly exposed land and added it to CamRock Park. Today Koshkonong Creek is re-establishing its native vegetation and provides an excellent water trail and shore fishing between Cambridge and Rockdale.
The marker is located on southbound Water Street, at its intersection with East Adams Street, at or near 220 Water Street, Cambridge, Wisconsin 53523.

These are also at this location:

Restoration efforts along Koshkonong Creek. The first two photos show steambank restoration work, the third features volunteers removing woody invasive plants, and the last is a controlled burn to help re-establish native plants.

The Rockdale Dam that supplied power for the mill.

A view of Rockdale, the mill and the millpond, circa 1870, looking southeast.
The Rockdale Millpond - During damming, the breaching of the dam, while being drained, and re-establishing the original vegetation.
Beautiful location!

The marker is located in Rockdale, Wisconsin.

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