ALL to tour Alpena Flour Mill on Friday

ALPENA — The Association of Lifelong Learners will tour the old Alpena Flour Mill at 10 a.m. on Friday at 633 W. Campbell St., Alpena.

In the building of a community, the flour mill was viewed as a community institution in which everyone had an interest. Many residents have shared their memories of the flour mill over the years. They fondly recall the days they “came to town with their father to have their grain ground into flour.” They recall the sounds and the smells of fresh grain emanating from this building.

Originally known as the Monarch Milling Company, ground was broken for this mill on November 12, 1914. In 2019, Robert and Sarah Rings purchased the Alpena Flour Mill to restore and use as a family business. A full-scale restoration/renovation of the mill was started in August 2021 by Robert; this was a massive undertaking for one man to complete by himself. All of the building restoration was completed by Robert, as a project of passion.

This restoration/renovation aimed to bring the flour mill into modern times and ensure it would become a useful part of the Alpena Community for another 100 years. The commercial kitchen is housed in the back block portion of the building and was completed in 2022, which is when Robert commercially launched Olde Mill Coffee.

Olde Mill Coffee is single-origin coffee roasted on a more than 100-year-old coffee roaster produced by the A.J. Deer Company of Hornell, NY. There are currently only four of this style of roaster known to exist, and Robert is the only one roasting on one.

Come tour this amazing old building and hear Robert’s ideas for the future! Robert is an Alpena native with various careers and is now living his passion for making local history come to life. Robert had collected Alpena advertising for a while and saw Alpena Flour Mill bags for sale on eBay. It got him thinking, and he found out it was for sale. His wife Sarah was also interested in starting a family business, as she grew up working for her aunt and uncle, who owned Jack’s Landing. The purchase was finalized in December 2019 and has been a work in progress ever since. It has been a roller coaster of emotion, doubt, and huge amounts of cash. But now, on the verge of opening to the public in a 110-year-old building, he has single-handedly been brought into modern times while keeping its original feel.

ALL bike ride Thursday

ALPENA — The Association of Lifelong Learners will participate in a Spring Bike Ride from 9:30 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. on Thursday from the Herman Vogler Conservation Area along the U.S.-23 Heritage Route, Rogers City.

The annual spring 16-mile ride explores Vogler Conservation Area, Hoeft Park, Rogers City Marina, and Forty Mile Lighthouse. The route is a paved bikeway along Lake Huron and city streets. Lunch along the way will be part of the experience.

Experienced bikers call this one of the most scenic routes in Northern Michigan. Helmets are required. Bill Haase will contact riders with last-minute details. He continues organizing ALL bike rides and again serves on the ALL Executive Board.

Bridge results noted

ALPENA — Alpena Duplicate Bridge Club results have been announced for this week. Gordon Bennett and Marge French placed first, followed by Beverley Rousseau and Marcy Sherman in second, and Deanna Brege and Gayle Nowak in third place.

The group meets at 12:30 p.m. on Mondays. For more information, call 989-595-5119 or 989-354-2306.


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