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Nassau County Moves Full Speed Ahead With Restoration Of 300-Year-Old Roslyn Grist Mill

ROSLYN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- It's one of the oldest structures in our area, and now the 300-year-old landmark is being saved, restored, and soon turned into a museum on the main street of a Long Island village.

The Grist Mill, once a water-powered flour mill in the heart of the quaint community of Roslyn, was built in 1715. It is one of the few surviving Dutch colonial-frame buildings left in the country.

Grist Mill
The Grist Mill in Roslyn dates to the late 1700s. (Photo: Roslyn Landmark Society)

The community came out in droves Thursday to witness the mill being slowly raised to street level, carefully lifted inch by inch by hydraulic jacks so a new water-tight foundation can be poured.

"This a moment that we have all worked for, for many many years," Roslyn homeowner John Flynn said.

Tourist Kenneth Kohut traveled all the way from Washington D.C.

"This is so complicated and so unusual that when you get a chance to see something like this you gotta come over and see it," Kohut said.

Architects have been advising preservationists every step of the way on how to add sections of timber cribbing so the building doesn't collapse, CBS2's Jennifer McLogan reported.

Roslyn was first settled in 1633 and is one of the oldest villages in the state, so it's no surprise so many history buffs showed up for the lifting of the mill.

"It was the first building. It was really the economic generator for the whole village," said Howard Kroplick of the Roslyn Landmark Society. "So this was the business center and all the buildings grew around it."

Roslyn citizens convinced Nassau County to begin restoration efforts that are eventually expected to cost up to $4 million, funded by the state, county, village, and matching contributions from the community. Added to the National Register of Historic Places, the mill is admired near and far. Even George Washington was a fan, mentioning the mill in his diary when he visited here in 1790.

"The fact that George Washington, our first president, wrote about this Grist Mill, this is such a connection to our present, the past and the present, and it's really important that our young people understand our history right here in Nassau County," County Executive Laura Curran said.

When the work is complete, the county will transfer title to the village, which will let the Roslyn Landmark Society operate it as a museum, McLogan reported.

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