War Eagle Mill is announcing modifications to its operation to ensure a sustainable strategy moving forward into the future of this iconic Arkansas location.
Launching no later than September 1, the former War Eagle Mill Corporation will separate into two entities, each with more targeted duties.
A new entity will be formed for the production corporation to concentrate on production and the expansion of the War Eagle Mill product line. Production will be under the leadership/ownership of Sam Sputo.
The former War Eagle Mill entity will continue and concentrate on the preservation of the historical site as well as serving as an iconic tourist destination for Benton County and the State of Arkansas. War Eagle will continue under the ownership of Elise Roenigk and the leadership of Jack Moyer. The War Eagle team will join the Crescent Hotel and Spa family.
TIMELINE AND UPGRADES
War Eagle Mill will take a summer break from August 15th – August 31st to upgrade the facility and reposition its food service offering. Improvements during this time are expected to include:
- Repair and Repainting of War Eagle Mill
- Upgrading the outdoor bathroom facilities
- Launching a Save the Stream program
- Relocation of trash and the addition of a recycling program
- Trash/waste reduction
- River Access for Recreation
- Tree maintenance and the removal of invasive plants
- Redevelopment of outdoor seating overlooking the river
- A realignment of parking at the mill and adjacent river access
- An upgrade in salary structure
- Returning the Miller
- Focusing on site locations for the wheel and bridge.
- Documenting the history with historical markers and presentation
Fast Casual Dining – War Eagle product based
The restaurant will evolve into a “fast casual” outlet made popular by the likes of Panera Bread. The menu will continue to feature items made with War Eagle Mill products, with favorites such as the club sandwich, beans & cornbread, cobbler, and biscuits continuing to be made available. The offering will also see an extension of to-go beverages, including, at a future point, the addition of beer and wine retail sales.
Retail Focus: War Eagle Product & Arkansas Made
The retail area will continue to feature the War Eagle product line as well as Arkansas-made crafts and food products. The Miller will return.
Save the Stream
The updated business plan will have plans to restart managed access to War Eagle Creek. River access will include supervised paid parking, a landing, and load-out beach, 24-hour convenience beverage/vending, and allow “always open” restroom and trash facilities. The focus here will be placed on a concerted effort on a “Save the Stream” strategy. Donations for usage will be encouraged.
Tentative Fall Operating Hours: Modified
10 a.m. to 8 p.m, Days TBD
Administration/ Maintenance Days – TBD
In joining the Crescent family, War Eagle Mill also welcomes the operational creed of the Crescent Hotel corporation: Being Community Minded, Building the Individual, Creating Lifetime Memories, and Protecting the Irreplaceable. War Eagle Mill is widely recognized as an icon for tourism and a sought-after site for sightseeing, floating, history buffs, visitors to Hobbs State Park, and, of course, crafting. Moyer stated, “Passively, War Eagle Mill has long been part of our Crescent Hotel family.” Today, we welcome them fully and look forward to the challenge of protecting the mill and making things better for the stream and for the team.”
War Eagle Mill is a working gristmill located in Benton County, Arkansas. The mill dates back to 1832, Although the mill was damaged by flooding and then burned twice—the second time in 1924—today’s War Eagle Mill is an authentic reproduction of the 1872 Blackburn family mill. It is currently the only grist mill in Arkansas and is thought to be the only operational undershot waterwheel in the entire country.
War Eagle Mill will continue to participate in the annual War Eagle Fair. Established in 1953, it is regarded as the originator of all Ozark craft fairs, occupies the fields directly adjacent to the old War Eagle Bridge, and is on all sides of the Mill property. The fair draws tens of thousands of guests and celebrates heritage, history, art, and craftsmanship.
Owner Elise Roenigk will remain connected to both projects, understanding the essential role of Protecting the Irreplaceable mill and War Eagle Valley.