$1.6 million will help turn Jones Mill site into public park

Fountain Inn Museum receives state funding for ongoing project
Published: Jun. 24, 2022 at 11:56 PM EDT
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FOUNTAIN INN, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - A few artifacts at the Fountain Inn Museum might be too small to immediately catch the eye but one procured treasure that is the focal point of a major project is too large to even fit in the building.

Jones Mill sits on a nine-acre site along Durbin Creek just outside the city limits. This week, the museum secured $1.6 million in the state budget to rebuild the mill and turn the property into a public park. The structure and property were gifts to the museum.

“We are so grateful to the Garrett family - the brothers who donated this to the museum,” Peggy Nickson, museum board president, told FOX Carolina. “We are so thankful for the committee that worked under the museum’s auspices to pursue this...and our (lawmakers) who made this possible.”

George Hughes, with the Jones Mill Restoration Committee, said the money will be used to rebuild the crumbling grist mill.

“The stone structure, which is the basement area of the mill, is in very good shape,” Hughes told FOX Carolina. “We will take the mill down to the stone, save all the lumber that can be reused and rebuild the structure.”

The park project also includes trails, picnic areas and an outdoor education center with tiered seating.

NIckson said it is too early to set a timetable for completion but that the public can expect a couple of new trails on the nine-acre property within the next year. Hughes said there’s a chance the park could include an additional 22 acres.

“We have a possibility of some additional property that we hope will soon be in the hands of the museum and the committee,” Hughes said.

Nickson said the new park will restore the Jones Mill site as a popular gathering spot.

“We hope generations of children in Fountain Inn can really enjoy that and learn about the history,” Nickson said.