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Lanterman’s Mill usually begins grinding flour in the spring, around April.
But the water wheel has been sitting idle this year as Mill Creek Park officials have been waiting on a replacement of the main beam supporting it. Crews removed the old beam Tuesday and replaced it with a new one.
The old, rotted beam was replaced with a 500-pound block of wood that will support the water wheel at the mill. According to Linda Kostka, director of Mill Creek Park Development and Marketing, the original beam was 13 years old and wore out quickly because it’s on the heaviest side of the wheel.
The new beam is made of seasoned white oak, which was cut last year at the Canfield Fair. David Siembieda, owner of All-Do-It, said the hardest part was getting the 6 1/2-foot log lowered down 2 1/2 stories.
“We had to drop it down on one side of the mill. We had to transfer it all the way to the other side of the mill,” said Siembieda. “Then we had to drop it down alongside the wheel. We had to support the wheel.”
The easiest part for the workers was pulling out the original, deteriorated beam. Cutting it into sections made is easy for removal.
“You just don’t drive a crane in. You don’t drive a tow motor. It’s all hands on work. It’s old school,” said Siembieda.
Workers will be back early Wednesday morning to place the new beam under the water wheel.