Featured Community Organization - Friends of the Red Mill
The Friends of the Red Mill help to manage the Red Mill and the Red Mill Pavilion, two exciting
landmarks of Portland. Noreen Logel and Barbara Ingraham serve as chairperson and co-chairperson of the organization.
The Friends were formed in 2012, when its founding members disbanded Boy Scout Troop 58 that they were leading. The group wished to continue their service to the community and they arrived at the idea of constructing a building to serve the Farmers Market.
“I met with the city manager to find out how to go about that,” said Noreen. “I got people together from the Boy Scout troop and from the Farmers Market, along with Ed and Charles Leik. Ed and Charles had a vested interest in the area as they had renovated the Red Mill in the late 90s. We formed the Friends of the Red Mill and our joint project was to construct the pavilion.”
Noreen and Barbara said that over sixty volunteers helped to build the pavilion.
“Volunteers came from all over the United States and Canada, as well as locally,” said Noreen. “We could not have accomplished this without them. We owe a special thank you to the Timber Framers Guild for all of their help.”
The Pavilion is a community building that is used for weddings, graduation parties, and family reunions, as well as for the Farmers Market and other events.
“The Red Mill Pavilion has become a landmark of Portland,” said Noreen. “It is both functional and beautiful.”
The Friends of the Red Mill have a good relationship with the City of Portland. The Friends sponsor a number of events throughout the year, including Red Mill Community Days on August 26, the Chocolate Walk on October 7, and the Haunted Mill on October 27, 28, and 29, along with Christmas Tree Lane on December 2. It also engages in fund-raising activities.
“We’re often asked why we continue to fund-raise,” said Noreen. “Our response is that we need funds to maintain the building and we also need funds to serve our goal of bringing the community together.”
The Friends are in the process of writing a book about how the pavilion came to be. The book should be available for purchase soon. Information about the Friends can be accessed on Facebook at Friends of the Red Mill. People who are interested in volunteering for the Friends or who wish for more information about the Friends may contact Noreen at 517-743-1830.
“The benefits of being a Friend are that of fun and of the rewards and satisfaction of volunteering,” said Noreen.
The Red Mill and the Red Mill Pavilion may be seen at 450 Water Street in Portland.
This article was originally published in the Downtown Portland Newsletter for July 2023. You can find the full newsletter HERE.