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Flour mill can rise as something new

The Wilkins-Rogers Mill facility in Oella, across the river from historic Ellicott City, is slated to shut down in early 2020. Its the last operating commercial mill in Maryland.
The Wilkins-Rogers Mill facility in Oella, across the river from historic Ellicott City, is slated to shut down in early 2020. Its the last operating commercial mill in Maryland. (Jerry Jackson)

The closing of the Wilkins-Rogers flour mill in Oella is indeed sad, both for the sake of those losing their jobs and for the historical connection going back almost 250 years (“Flour mill in Baltimore County’s Oella, Maryland’s last commercial mill, to shut down,” Oct. 14). However, the closing also presents a golden opportunity for a developer, in partnership with Baltimore County, Howard County and the state of Maryland, to create something new and vibrant on that site, similar to Savage Mill in Howard County and projects in Canton and Hampden in Baltimore.

Such a project could maintain the historical connection via a museum, as well as provide space for shops close to Historic Ellicott City, particularly for those displaced by recent flooding. It could also be a place for Catonsville to expand on its nascent arts and entertainment district proposal. From a practical standpoint, it could serve as additional parking for those visiting Ellicott City and relieve some of the current traffic congestion.

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How often do we get such a win-win opportunity?

Joseph K. Canner, Halethorpe

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