(MINEOLA, N.Y.) – Nassau County Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton (D – Glen Cove) secured passage of an inter-municipal agreement that provides essential county funding for the long-awaited restoration of the Roslyn Grist Mill.
Legislators voted unanimously on Monday, Aug. 6 to authorize the agreement, which allows Nassau County to transfer $440,000 - $250,000 derived from the 2006 Environmental Open Space Bond Act, and $190,000 as part of the County’s capital funds program - to Roslyn Village. The village will then route the funds to the Roslyn Landmark Society, which is leading restoration efforts.
“I am delighted - and relieved - that Nassau County will be providing the long-awaited funding to kickstart the restoration of a historic treasure in the heart of Roslyn,” Legislator DeRiggi-Whitton said. “I am looking forward to the day when the Roslyn Grist Mill is once again open for visitors and bringing Long Island’s rich colonial history alive.”
During restoration, the Grist Mill will be stabilized and raised to street level and the historic timber frames will be restored. Once work is complete, the Roslyn Landmark Society plans to operate the facility as an educational site. The first $1.4-million phase will be covered by municipal funding and approximately $1 million in private donations.
“The restoration of the Roslyn Grist Mill was a high priority for me during my time in the Legislature,” said North Hempstead Town Clerk Wayne Wink, a former Nassau County Legislator whose work included advocacy for the Roslyn Grist Mill. “I am excited to see this agreement move forward after many years of collaboration with the Roslyn Landmark Society and the Village of Roslyn.”
Research by North Hempstead Town Historian Howard Kroplick indicates that a grist mill existed on the site since the early 18th century. The current mill was built sometime between 1715 and 1741 by Jeremiah Williams and is a rare example of a Dutch-framed watermill built for industrial use. President George Washington makes mention of the grist mill, then owned by Hendrick Onderdonk, in a 1790 diary entry about a visit to the owner. From 1920 to 1974, the site was primarily utilized as a tea house.
After being deeded to Nassau County, the Roslyn Grist Mill has been vacant and the subject of several halted restoration efforts despite being added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1986. In 2015, the Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities (SPLIA) declared the site one of Long Island’s most endangered historic sites.