Grain News

Historic Florence Mill Opens 2013 Season with Special Events

Date Posted: May 7, 2013

The historic Florence Mill in Omaha, NE opens its 2013 season with with its annual Florence Days festival Saturday and Sunday, May 11-12, at the 1846 facility.

Florence days opens the afternoon of May 11 with a parade and pony rides for the kids through 5 p.m. Additional special events:

3:30 p.m., May 11 -- "Nebraska: Crossroads of the Fur Trade," a history talk by Darrel Draper sponsored by Humanities Nebraska and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment. Kenneth Be will perform lute music before and after the lecture.

1:30-4:30 p.m., May 12 -- "The Serpent in the Story," an opening reception in the ArtLoft for quilter Shea Wilkinson, her first solo exhibit running through the end of June.

Built in 1846 by the Mormon pioneers as part of the Winter Quarters settlement during their migration to Utah, the mill was used to grind corn, wheat, and rye for cornmeal and flour products.

The settlement became the new town of Florence in 1854, and is currently part of Omaha.

After the Mormons abandoned the site in 1848, Alexander Hunter, a Gold Rusher, rebuilt the mill from existing timbers in 1854.

Hunter hired Jacob Weber as a hired hand around 1857, and he became the owner in 1860.

Three generations of the Weber family operated the mill continuously for 104 years after that, making it the longest operating business in Nebraska.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the old mill buildilng has been restored as a tourist attraction.

The Florence Mill is located at 9102 N. 30th St., next to Exit 13 on Interstate 680 and OJ's Homemade Mexican Food.

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