ANTIQUITY — The fourth Bicentennial Marker was unveiled Wednesday evening in Letart Township.
The marker, which is located at the “Antiquity” sign when traveling south on State Route 124 from Racine, commemorates the Riverside Mill Company.
Bicentennial Ambassadors Grant Adams, Brielle Newland and Cooper Schagel were in attendance along with members of the Bicentennial Committee and members of the community.
The Riverside Mill Company was founded by W.F. Sayre in the late 1800s. According to members of the Shain family, the mill built wooden barges and paddle wheel hulls. At one time, the company employed 25 people. Jason Shain, the great, great grandson of Sayre, said “for a small area and everything back in those days, that was quite an operation.”
The 1937 flood reached the mill, causing it to close shortly after. The Shain family said when the road was built where the mill was located, the state bought it for $100. The family and decedents of Sayre continued to operate the general store, which was owned by the mill, until the early 1960s. The store and mill office are still standing along State Route 124 in Antiquity. Although the buildings are no longer owned by the family, Shain said it’s still part of the family.
Shain said not a lot of information was documented on the mill, but the family is grateful for the county wanting to place signs and bring back the history of Meigs County.
“The people don’t recognize the history that’s beneath their feet,” Adams said. “It’s not just celebrating individual companies, individual peoples, it’s celebrating peoples’ lives. Celebrating where we are today.”
The next marker unveiling will be held on May 15 with a time and location to be announced at a later date. Markers will continue to be unveiled the third Wednesday of each month throughout 2019.
Kayla Hawthorne is a freelance writer for The Daily Sentinel.