Crews to move Ozark Mill back to newly-constructed foundation


Missouri-based experts in historic structure relocation guiding restoration

On Wednesday, Feb. 20, construction crews began the second phase on construction at Ozark Mill, moving the nearly two-centuries-old structure back to its historic location on the Finley river onto a newly-constructed foundation. The move off the old foundation began last March and was necessary to allow crews to completely rebuild its foundation and maintain the building’s structural integrity. Once back in place, exterior renovation will begin, followed by interior restoration of the mill.

Expert House Movers (EHM)—a St. Louis-based company that has more than 45 years experience in moving historic buildings—were responsible for the original move and will be managing its return.

“Experience is paramount when it comes to moving buildings,” said EHM representative Gabe Matyiko. “I worked for my father growing up, and he worked for his father. Over multiple generations, there were a lot of lessons learned, and what that results in is a better end product and a better job.”

To date, the extensive restoration has incorporated 1,600 labor hours, 1,250 yards of concrete, and a new foundation that sits three feet higher than the original to prevent flood damage. The effort reflects noted conservationist and Ozarks native Johnny Morris’ commitment to honoring the legacy and remarkable heritage of the iconic building.

While the Mill restoration will continue, Finley Farm’s first components will open later this year. Additional details will be announced in the upcoming weeks.