Friends of Morningstar Mill lauded by St. Catharines staff

Published May 9, 2022 at 2:02 pm

St. Catharines has formally recognized a dedicated group of volunteers who have spent three decades preserving and celebrating local history.

With the Friends of Morningstar Mill celebrating their 30th anniversary in 2022, representatives from the City met with the group on May 7 at the historic site to formally thank the group for their efforts.

“We can’t thank the Friends of Morningstar Mill enough, they work tirelessly to preserve our local history and share it with the community, providing us with a unique glimpse of our community’s past that otherwise might go unnoticed,” said supervisor of historical services Kathleen Powell.

The Friends were organized in 1992 after approaching City Council with a plan to restore and operate the historic Morningstar Mill at Decew Falls. The grist mill was first constructed by Wilson Morningstar in 1872.

“We’re all passionate about history and I can’t say enough about how great the Friends are as a group of people. We couldn’t do what we do without the support received from the community, local businesses and the City,” said Hank Braun, a Friends of Morningstar Mill member who has been working with the group for 19 years.

Since restoring the mill, and several other buildings on the site, the Friends have consistently worked to keep it operational, and open for free tours and demonstrations of the flour-making process from May to October. The group also assists with collections management and are on site twice a week for maintenance and restoration work during the off season.

In 2019 alone, the group volunteered over 3,900 hours and toured 15,000 people through the site. The site officially opens to the public on Saturday, May 21. For more information on the group, including how to get involved, visit

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