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The Road to Rehabilitation

Boy Scout Recognized For Work At The Historic Leonard Mill

June 12, 2017

Leonard Village Council and Village President Michael McDonald on Monday night recognized Charley Osmun for his work on the Leonard Mill project which will earn him his Eagle Scout Badge.  Charley, who is 15 and a soon to be a tenth grade student at Clarkston High School planned, design and organized the construction of steps into the main level of the Historic Mill.  His Scout Troop 377 helped in raising money for the materials, the construction, delivery and on-site erection of the steps.  “The stairs were planned for maximum flexibility,” said Charley, “they are very heavy but can be disassembled for removal when needed.”  The Scout Troop may be on hand during the Strawberry Festival to show off their handy work and act as docents at the Mill.  They may also consider some additional Eagle Scout projects to do for the Mill.  “This was an awesome project for Charley and the troop for an awesome building” said Aaron Osmun, Charley’s father and one of the scout leaders.  “It is these types of buildings that give character and makes every place unique.  When this is all restored and serving the Village and Trail users it will be grand.  Every community should have something like this.”


Picture:(L-R) Bill Osmun, Dean Fidler, Charley Osmun, Jack Storey, Aaron Osmun, Jake Fidler, Mark Fidler

Spring Cleaning at the Leonard Mill

May 13, 2017

Another successful cleanup is in the books. Today a group of volunteers helped to get the Leonard Mill in shape for the summer and 2017 Strawberry Festival on July 15th. On the front side of the mill, volunteers spread topsoil to help slope the ground away from the foundation, where grass seed will soon be spread on top. Newly potted planter boxes were also placed in the front of the mill to add some color and natural beauty. Additionally, a local Boy Scout troop came by to measure and prep for new portable steps that will lead into the mill. Thank you to our volunteers for your hard work. See you all at the Strawberry Festival!

Leonard Mill Pop-up Park

July 7, 2016

Today volunteers from the Home Depot worked tirelessly to install the Leonard Mill Pop-up Park that will debut officially at the Strawberry Festival.  The park includes picnic tables that were donated by the Home Depot and built by the volunteers as well as planters that were also donated and planted with a variety of flowers by the Home Depot. The park is located on the site of the former Beanery portion of the building that had to be completely demolished after part of it collapsed.  The park should be a great amenity for trail-users and community members that want to take a quick break, relax and perhaps grab a bite to eat at Leonard's Market.  

Look for a special activity for kids at the Park on the day of Strawberry Festival, sponsored and hosted by the Home Depot!

Leonard Mill Summer Work Days

June 18, 2016

Despite the heat, many volunteers donated their time on Saturday to help in the continued efforts to clean up the Mill.  This Saturday's work day was the second of the season and the major accomplishments were the demolition of the cement block addition to West of the original Mill building, fill in of the hole that remained from the old Beanery portion of the building, and clean-up of the site around the building.  The major goal of these work days was to prepare the site for a pop-up park, donated by Home Depot, that will debut at the Strawberry Festival this July!

The Leonard Mill Gets a New Roof!

October 2015

Some very visible changes to the mill occurred this fall as the the Village of Leonard was busy coordinating the replacement of the roof and rehabilitation of the cupola.  Using funds that were awarded to the Village by the Four County Community Foundation in addition to some private donations, the Village was able to finance the project which included a new corrugated metal roof, wood siding painted red to match the original color of the mill, and window restoration.  The project was completed by Todd Elder, a local contractor who has restored a historic mill in Lakeville, a nearby unincorporated settlement in Addison Township. 

Start of Summer Work Season

June 13, 2015

Today volunteers from the Village of Leonard and Oakland County again gathered at the Mill to kick-off the 2015 season of work days.  The major accomplishment from this work day was the demolition of the north-west wall of the beanery portion of the building.  Debris was also cleared out and burned.It was a successful day and a great way to start off the 2015 work season!

Four County Community Foundation Grant Awarded

February 9, 2015

The Village of Leonard received great news this morning as we opened up a letter from the Four County Community Foundation stating we had been awarded an $8,000 grant for the repair and replacement of the Leonard Grain Elevator Roof. The grant was submitted by the Village to the Four County Community Foundation with the assistance of Oakland County staff.  The Four County Community Foundation is a non-profit community corporation connecting Lapeer, Macomb, Oakland and St. Clair Counties.  FCCF provides grants to communities through the Four County Community Fund for a number of charitable purposes that will make a positive impact.Stay tuned for a photo of the new roof coming this summer!

Peter's True Value Hardware Donates South Lyon Mill Machinery

February 7, 2015

Having a historic mill is not a characteristic that is entirely unique to the Village of Leonard.  At one point in time, there were many mills varying in form and function throughout all of Oakland County and the region due to the many rivers and railroads used for the transportation of goods and people.  Unfortunately, many of the region's mills have been lost to development pressures, deterioration or natural disasters. Today the Village of Leonard and Addison Township gained remarkable historic equipment from one of the only surviving mills in the region.  The South Lyon Grain Elevator, owned by Peter's True Value Hardware has been slated for demolition due to the owner's need for more usable space on the property. Despite the demolition, the owners of Peter's True Value Hardware have been very interested in preserving the historic equipment within the mill building.  Oakland County Economic Development and Community Affairs staff coordinated the efforts between the Village of Leonard President, Addison Township Supervisor and the owners and manager of Peter's True Value Hardware to successfully remove the historic equipment from the South Lyon Mill with the goal of relocating it for educational displays in the renovated Leonard Mill. Some of the equipment collected includes: a Clipper Grain Shaker/Cleaner, scales, light fixtures, pulleys, and other machinery hardware.  The items collected have historic as well as monetary value and instead of being sold were generously donated by Peter's True Value Hardware to the Village and Township.   To view the full press release visit:

Wrapping up for Winter

December 10, 2014

Today the Addison Township Fire Department donated some time to prepare the Mill for winter.  The Fire Department generously brought one of their aerial fire trucks to help place a tarp on the roof of the Grain Elevator portion of the Mill.  The North-east corner of the Grain Elevator roof is damaged to the point were it leaves the inside portion of the building exposed to the elements. To mitigate further water damage, it was important to cover this section of the roof before winter.  The Village is very grateful for the time spent by the Fire Department today and is looking forward to future work days in 2015!

Time for Deep Cleaning

December 6, 2014

At today's work day the goal was to begin to remove the debris in the Beanery section of the Mill to prepare the rest of this portion for demolition.  Any wood or other items that were salvageable are being stored in a nearby garage. Though there is still a large amount of debris left to be removed, the major accomplishment from today's work day was the complete removal of debris from the 1975 addition of the building.  The entire western part of the building was an addition to the Mill and it housed an office and retail space.  From years of deterioration, this portion of the building was filled with old insulation and other debris that had fallen from the crumbling ceiling and walls.  After the cleaning done today, this section of the Mill is ready for demolition. 

And Now the Work Begins!

October 25, 2014

Today was the first Leonard Mill Work Day.  Aside from removing some very overgrown Box Elders, today was the first time the Village and a handful of volunteers were able to start the process of restoring the Mill.  Volunteers are very important to the success of this project and this work day was a great kick-start to the many more work days to come!


The major accomplishment from today's work day was the removal of the eastern wall of the Beanery section of the building.  The roof on this portion of the building collapsed a few years ago and since then the rest has continued to rapidly deteriorate.  The plans for the project call for the entire Beanery portion of the building to be demolished and rebuilt, and today's accomplishment was the first step towards completing that plan.  

A Photo and Some Strawberries

July 19, 2014

During the Village of Leonard's Annual Strawberry Festival this year, Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson joined the Village in celebrating the acquisition of the Leonard Mill.  Patterson addressed the Village and Festival attendees by speaking about the importance of historic preservation efforts used to protect rare landmarks like the Leonard Mill within Oakland County.  The Village President, Mike MacDonald also spoke and shared his gratitude with everyone who had been involved in helping the Village with the property acquisition. 


After the Festival Parade, many people gathered in front of the Mill to take a photo recognizing the importance of the Leonard Mill and to show their support and pride in the Village's endeavor to rehabilitate the building.

Exploring the Vision

March 3, 2014

A number of public input opportunities have taken place since 2009 for Leonard Mill Park.  Students at the Leonard Elementary School, area residents, business owners and a cross-section of trail users have all helped shape the vision for both the Mill and park.


The last stakeholder engagement session took place after the Village of Leonard had officially acquired the Leonard Mill property.  The meeting was held to gather the information used to refine the vision for the future Leonard Mill Park.


This meeting was the kick-of to restoring and rehabilitating the Leonard Mill and developing the Leonard Mill Park, which will be a great asset for both Village and Polly Ann Trail users when complete.

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