In honor of Historic Bowens Mills thirty year anniversary, a celebration of all volunteers will be held at 1:30 pm Sunday afternoon.  It will be called Bowens Mills Volunteer Hall of Fame Ceremony.  The volunteers have always been, and  always will be the heart beat of all the restoration projects.  In honor of what they have done, all volunteers both past and present are invited to come.  Anyone who has helped in any way, for a day, a week, or for years,  are urged to attend.  

The volunteer to be inducted into the Hall of Fame this year is Clarence Rahn of Alto, MI.  Clarence is a real people person.  His wonderful sense of humor makes him a person that everyone likes to be with. He started volunteering at Bowens Mills in 2002.   He has always been there at least one day a week, sometimes more, since then.

When asked why he likes to Volunteer at the old mill, his answer was, “I enjoy history and want to see it preserved.  I love working there at the old mill and I feel like I have been accepted as a member of the family.  It makes me feel really good to be there. It is so great, I have made so many new friends, to be liked by folks, while you are liking folks back, is wonderful!!!”  said Clarence.  With Clarence it’s all about people and preserving history, it’s not the work.

Clarence has had some pretty tough times these past  few months.  He had open heart surgery with --------by passes the end of April but was able to go back to his home after-----weeks or days in the hospital.

maybe his wife's death

About one month later when he awoke, he knew something was wrong and called -----kids or 911???  He was having a stroke.  That left him with one side totally paralyzed.  Recovery was extra hard to cope with because of the loss of his wife of almost 50 years too.  

After his stroke Clanence had a time of depression, being tearful, sad and always looking at the dark side of things.   His -------children and their families  --------grandchildren and -----------great grand children, was what made him realize that he had to pull out of his depression and get back on the right track again.   His yearning to return to his work at the old mill was always deep in this thoughts too.

When speaking about his feelings of his stroke he said,   “God has a reason for everything and He doesn’t make mistakes.  I only hope and pray that in some way I might be a blessing to someone.  It is my prayer that I may be of  some help or encouragement to make people realize that life is worth living---no matter what.”  He also stated, “If we look around, there is always someone worse off then we are.”

It should be noted that Clarence has made a remarkable recovery and expects to be back on the job again, at the old mill.  


Historic Bowens Mills is a family owned and operated historical park. The goal of the second generation owners of the Mill is the same as their parent's before them, to continue not only to preserve the history of the area of Yankee Springs, but to portray an image in the minds and eyes of all those who visit there; to give each one who visits a glimpse of the past, with the sights, sounds, and smells of the history that lies behind us, so that this generation can see and feel what those before us experienced, once upon a time.

October 4th & 5th Historic Bowens Mills Mountain Men Encampment & Colonial Fiber Weekend: Co-sponsored by the Fork River Free Trappers with a authentic Mountain Men & Trapper living history encampment. Colonial costumed craftsmen demonstrating and selling their works, Old fashion barnyard pull Saturday at 2:00pm, Horse drawn wagon rides, fleece spinning demonstrations both days.

ALL CIDER TIME FESTIVALS INCLUDE: Free Horse Drawn Wagon Ride with admission, Cider pressing demonstrations on the 100+ year old water-powered cider press, stone ground corn grinding demonstrations on the huge mill stones, Live Oldtime Music, Pioneer Farm with animals, along with many other history related activities. The "It's Cider Time Festivals" are Saturdays & Sundays from noon to 5pm, gate fee for adults is $5.00, Children 12 years and under $3.00.

The Old Mill is located in the heart of beautiful Yankee Springs Township, Barry County, MI just 2 miles north of Yankee Springs (Gun Lake) State Park. Watch for the Huge Millstone Marker at 55 Briggs Road, Middleville, MI 49333. Visit or call 269-795-7530 for more information.