Mill Family Reunion holds 4th annual event

Chris Moore, left, with family and friends. Photo by Taylor Kallio.

By Kathy Oswalt-Forsythe

The Mill Family Reunion, held on a cold and wet October day, moved indoors this year, where attendees could stay out of the elements, have refreshments, visit with friends and family, and take a self-guided tour of parts of the building. According to Alysse Thomas, hospitality and events coordinator for Paper City LLC, the self-guided tours worked well and allowed “attendees to take their time reminiscing about the experience at The Mill.”

Larry Forsyth’s souvenir boxes.

Around 200 people attended this year’s event, which was themed “Field of Dreams.” “We had a baseball-inspired celebration with popcorn, pretzel, cotton candy and hot dog stations,” says Thomas. “Also, Jackie Koney was there signing and selling copies her book, “It Takes More than Balls,” which is a women’s guide to all things baseball. Larry Forsyth made wooden card boxes that were given as gifts or “souvenirs.” 

Chris Moore, the driving force behind Paper City LLC and the Mill Project, spoke to the crowd about the progress made since the project’s inception and the plans for the future.

Always woven into Moore’s conversations are his respect for the history of the building and his recognition of the efforts of those who worked within its walls. His audience can sense his genuine passion for the preservation of the building and its rich history.

Former mill employee Roger Royer appreciates not only Moore’s work at the Mill, but also his “numerous contributions in the downtown of Vicksburg.” Royer, who spent time in economic development, adds that he has “a fond appreciation for those who are willing to risk their personal treasure for the betterment of community.”

Leeanne Seaver, local author and photographer, also attended the indoor event. “The family reunion at the Mill was so great this year because we were all inside the Mill. We got to see the progress close-up… walk through it at our own pace and have a spontaneous conversation with others who were and are a part of the Mill story,” Seaver said. “As someone who never worked there, my connections are all present day. That’s the extraordinary part of the Mill story—it’s still unfolding, and still bringing us together as a community.”

Royer agrees, saying the building is “more than a historic edifice, it is perhaps a true representation of what has been Vicksburg’s past and more importantly what will be its future.”

Many people helped with the event, including John Kern, Prairie Ronde Artist Residency director, who stresses, “It’s an honor for us to provide this type of celebration to the people who have contributed in so many ways to Vicksburg through their work at the mill, both past and present.”

Thomas says the next Mill Family Reunion event will be held in the fall of 2024 in late September or early October.

November at the Vicksburg District Library

Adult Events

Book Club for Adults – November 2, December 7 from 9:30-10:30 a.m. Discuss a book with the group. At our November meeting, we will discuss “Mrs. Rochester’s Ghost” by Lindsay Marcott and/or “The Wife Upstairs” by Rachel Hawkins. Check with the library for December’s book.

Crafts for Adults – November 14 from 1-3 p.m. Do origami. All you need to bring is yourself.

Evening Writers’ Motivational Group – November 8 from 5:30-6:30 p.m. (New time!) Report progress, set goals, share resources and advice, and brainstorm your projects with other writers.

Birdwatchers / Nature-Watchers – November 30 from 1-2 p.m. For adults who love to look at birds or nature, whether out in the wild or in your own back yard. Share photos, plans, and tips; learn from your fellow enthusiasts; and tell us about your adventures in nature.

Movie Club: Featuring the Classics – November 27 from 1-3 p.m. Watch “12 Angry Men” at the library with coffee, tea, and cookies.

Adult Coloring – November 10 from 10:30-11:30 a.m. An hour of relaxing coloring, conversation, and hot drinks. All materials provided

National Novel Writing Month – November 2 from 4-5:30 p.m., November 15 from 6-8 p.m., November 19 from 2-4 p.m., November 29 from 6-8 p.m. Drop-in events held in person and on Zoom for everyone trying to write 50,000 words in November. Come write in!

Bridge Club – Join us for our weekly friendly game. Tuesdays from 9:30 a.m.-noon.

Tai Chi Class – Weekly class. The community is welcome. Tuesdays from 7-8 p.m. and Thursdays from 10:30-11:30 a.m.

Ladies Library Auxiliary Meeting – November 3, December 1 from noon-3 p.m. in our Lower Level.

Youth Events

Mugs and Hugs – November 1 and 15 from 10-10:45 a.m. Stories, rhymes, peer interaction. Ages 4 and below.

Family Storytime – November 6, 13, 20, and 27 from 10-10:30 a.m. Read, sing, and play. Ages 4 and below.

STEAM – November 20 from 11 a.m.-noon and November 9 from 6-7 p.m. Ages 5–11+. Engage in hands-on activities inspiring creativity and problem-solving skills

Lego Club – November 21 from 1-2 p.m. and 5:30-6:30 p.m. Ages 5–11+. Events have suggested themes, but individual creativity is the goal.

Bulldog Break Time – November 9 from 2:45-4:15 p.m. Grades 6-12. A safe space for teens and tweens to get together and have fun. Crafts, games, social activities, and tasty treats provided.

Teen Break – November 9 from 4:15-5:45 p.m. Grades 6-12. Nintendo Switch and games for people under 18! All supplies provided along with fun snacks.

Veterans Day Observance in Vicksburg

VFW Post 5189 presents Michael Fry as guest speaker for the Vicksburg Veteran’s Day program beginning at 11 a.m. on November 10, 2023 at Sunset Lake Park.

Fry is a retired Marine staff sergeant. He was discharged in September 2018 after more than 13 years of service.

The program will be sponsored by the Village of Vicksburg and VFW Post 5189, with assistance from Scout Troop 251. The ceremony will begin with the Vicksburg High School Chamber Singers singing the national anthem. Troop 251 will present the colors of each armed forces unit to each unit’s fight song. Fifth grade students from Sunset Lake Elementary will also attend, and while the audience recites the Pledge of Allegiance, the students will sign the words, something they have practiced in class. The program will end with the rifle squad firing a three-shot volley. Two members of the Vicksburg High School Band will play Taps.