Priest Lake Community:
Transforming Millie's has been the adventure of a lifetime, but the time has come for William, myself and our two boys to redirect ourselves. We are currently in the process of transitioning Millie's back to Al, Todd, and Eric.
William and I will take some ownership of the Chimney Rock Cafe. This process is set to be completed April 1st, 2024.
What a ride owning Millie's has been. From day one the community involvement has made this place special. This place has been the heartbeat of the west side and I feel lucky to have facilitated such a place and experience. Millie's will always have a special place in my heart but as our family has grown, we realize we need to take on a venture that matches the needs of our family, never in my wildest dreams would I have anticipated getting the opportunity to be a mom and I want to do it right. We can't be everywhere at all times and Millie's demands a small army to run the beast it has become.
We will be expanding on what we have done at thd Chimney Rock Cafe. We will continue to offer breakfast and lunch as well as summertime dinners and here shortly after we have our second kiddo we will open Chimney Rock In the evenings again opposite Millie's.
We will be expanding into the gym space putting in more prep space for catering as well as bakery space and we are so very excited to expand upon the things that are our passion.
As always, we are successful because of all of you, and I can't thank you enough for your w flees invest in me. What a ride it has been!
Much love Priest Lake!
Jess and William
Thanks to Matt Davis, District Ranger, Marley Chynoweth, Archeologist, Priest Lake Museum, countless community supporters and volunteers and Damon Bretthauer/Shiloh Roberts of Northern Lake Tree Service, the historic barn on Bismark Meadows has begun a new life.
The Barn, built in 1919, is a 28” X 32’ log building, which originally was built for 12 stock animals and had a hayloft and a shingled roof. Trappers, Bush and Bismark, first developed the site. It was acquired by the Forest Service and served as a summer guard station, as the pack base for the Coolin District and finally as the Bismark District Headquarters from 1927-1965. The mules and horses that lived at the barn included “Dooley”, “Phoebe”, “#99”, “Dynamite”, “Flicka” and “Duke”.
Over the years, the six buildings on the site have deteriorated and some are no longer standing. Although the log sides have remained standing, the roof and most of the hayloft has collapsed.
Local community members have petitioned for restoration of the barn over the years. With the cooperation of the Forest Service, the Priest Lake Museum and volunteers, the restoration process has begun.
Recently, Northern Lakes Tree Service volunteered its equipment and labor to “brush out” the road from the gate to the barn. Damon and his crew also carefully lifted out the cistern from the hayloft to take the weight off the remaining building. The cistern will be preserved, as will significant boards/logs that will be saved for templates for the future.
The final step this fall will be to tarp the building so that it will remain dry over the winter months. The Forest Service’s Region One Historic Preservation team is scheduled for a visit to Bismark this spring/summer. They will do a site evaluation and make recommendations for the restoration of the barn.
The Bismark Ranger Station site is located just south of the Nordman Store. For more information about the Bismark Ranger Station or to help with the restoration of the barn, please contact Priest Lake Museum (email@example.com).