It was the imposing stone wall that caught the eye of Susan Hutton.
The Sydney resident was looking for a place to retire and was on the search for an old shearing shed. Instead she found the historic Stephenson’s Mill.
On a brisk August morning last year, she inspected the site with a heritage architect. When she stepped onto the front lawn and looked at the building, she knew she could make the place home.
The development application to use and preserve the building was approved by the Upper Lachlan Shire Council in January.
Now, Ms Hutton is ready to renovate the space.
“I love stone. Stone is a beautiful building material, and there is a lot of stone here,” she said, sitting with her dog Rosie.
She acknowledged the strong connection between the flour mill, which was constructed in March 1870 by Anthony Stephenson, and the residents.
By 1883 there were four mills in the Upper Lachlan district: two in Crookwell, one in Binda and one in Laggan.
“The townsfolk in Crookwell have a very strong bond to this building. At one point it was purchased by the people. It was also used as a museum for war and farming memorabilia for a long time. People would also come and see the flour they were buying out back,” she said.
“It’s really an icon for the town. I know I own it, but I’m really a custodian of the mill for the town and generations to come. I hope at the end, when the building is finished, to have a gala day so people can come and look at their mill.”