150 Year Old Texas Gristmill Gets Timely Structural Repair

The Customer

Barnard’s Mill has stood as the historical centerpiece of Glen Rose, Texas for over 150 years. The building is situated along the banks of the Paluxy river and has served as a gristmill, medical clinic, and hospital. Currently, the building is the headquarters of the Somervell History Foundation.

Barnard’s Mill started as a water-powered gristmill in 1860 then to a steam-powered burr mill. It was sold for $10 and turned into a cotton gin in 1895, a health spa with mineral waters in 1943, a hospital and clinic in 1949, and today a Historical Mill and Art Museum. The building was originally constructed of limestone which is readily available and commonly used in construction in this region of Texas.

Historic Challenge

Interior Wall Crack

A major trip hazard appeared along the sidewalks and curbing, of the Linglestown, PA Weis Market Grocery store.

Built above a culvert, the sidewalks on both sides of the store entrance, including a safety railing, had settled causing a substantial safety-related tripping hazard to the public and customers alike.

A historic 4-year drought followed by a year of heavier than average rainfall for the area caused the soil underneath the structure to become unstable, shrinking then expanding rapidly after heavy rainfalls. Over the past 2 years, active floor and wall shifting caused a growing concern for the Somervell History Foundation as structural cracks and sinking floors threatened the integrity of the building, placing unneeded stress on the aging, 16-inch limestone walls of the mill.

Exterior Limestone Wall at Barnard’s Mill

Preserving the mill is the Somervell History Foundation’s primary mission and any repair solution could not do anything that would alter the historical significance of the building.

The challenge was to find the right solution to restore the century and a half old building knowing that there was no grade beam or structural steel in the walls and floors that is typical in today’s modern construction methods but not a common practice in the mid 1800s.

The Solution

After researching repair alternatives for preserving the historic mill, Somervell Foundation committee members chose URETEK ICR’s unique, non-intrusive polymer injection technology to stabilize and raise the historic structure. URETEK’s concrete raising and soil stabilization solution, known as The URETEK Method® consist of drilling small, 5/8″ (penny-sized) holes through the floor and injecting a high-density, expanding polymer beneath the foundation and underneath the limestone walls to achieve the following results:

  • Raise, level, and stabilize interior floor
  • Densify weak soil strata directly beneath or at depth
  • Re-compact eroded pockets beneath the foundation
  • Fill voids created by washouts and drought

URETEK’s repair process is non-intrusive and precise, as a URETEK operator has exceptional control over the polymer injection process which is a critical component in restoring older buildings. The URETEK crews work surgically, stabilizing and leveling areas on the mill floor during the floor lift. The floors, being over 100 years old, required an experienced URETEK crew because the foundation did not have any structural steel installed during the original foundation construction.

Before the injection process began, crews performed initial exploratory drilling and realized there was no grade beam underneath the structure. With this in mind, URETEK crews took additional steps to stabilize the approximately 16 inch limestone constructed walls utilizing URETEK’s Deep Injection® Process.

This is a patented process for densifying the soil and improving the soil bearing capacity with the objective being stabilizing the exterior walls so that the Somervell Historical Society could make any cosmetic improvements and repairs necessary inside the structure.

Restored and Ready for Anniversary

URETEK crews stabilized the floor and limestone walls in less than a day. Post injection clean up required vacuuming the areas around the treated area along with gluing the antique wooden floor tiles back to their original position. After URETEK crews completed the project, cosmetic repairs and touch up could begin immediately.

Understanding the historical value and heritage Barnard’s Mill represents this region of Texas, URETEK’s modern solution completed the floor repair just in time for an anniversary event.  URETEK was chosen to stabilize Barnard’s Mill because the solution was:

  • Cost effective and timely
  • Long lasting solution
  • Non-intrusive to the original look of the structure

The surgical precision and control URETEK solutions provided an ideal solution to Barnard’s Mill.  In addition, URETEK has completed numerous historical restoration projects nationwide where preservation of the original a structural is top priority.

For more information about Barnard’s Mill and Art Museum, check out their website.

The URETEK Method®

The URETEK Method® for raising sunken concrete involves drilling penny sized injection holes into concrete slabs and filling the voids underneath with an organic structural polymer that lifts the settling concrete slab. The URETEK Method® utilizes URETEK polymer to lift, realign, under-seal, and void fill concrete slabs, which are resting directly on base soils.

Our polyurethane concrete lifting method was developed and is used as an alternative to concrete mudjacking utilizing non-destructive, extremely effective concrete leveling solution that keeps company costs and downtime, or homeowner inconvenience to a minimum.

  • Small, penny-sized (5/8″ Inch) injection holes.
  • No furniture or appliance moving
  • Small amounts of debris vacuumed immediately
  • No carpet or tile removal
  • After injection, holes are grouted and sealed
The Deep Injection® Process

The Deep Injection® Process for soil stabilization was developed, patented, and currently utilized exclusively by URETEK ICR affiliates.  The patented process is a non-destructive, extremely effective soil compaction and densification process to improve load bearing capacity of weak or loose soil strata.  Utilized across the world by URETEK affiliates, the process is extremely versitile and is applied in a number of soil stabilization projects.

The Deep Injection® Process is ideal for highways, bridge approaches, sinkhole remediation, infrastructure sealing at depth, as well as taxiways, runways, tunnels and any other structure with settlement problems caused by a poor sub-base and soil compaction.

  • Small, penny-sized (5/8″ Inch) injection probes
  • No furniture, appliance, or landscape removal/relocation
  • Small amounts of debris generated from process
  • Business continues during process
  • Substantial improvement in load bearing capacity
Barnard's Mill History

State Historical Marker

The Beginning

The history of Somervell County begins with a small trading post on the banks of the Paluxy River now known today as the City of Glen Rose. 

The mill started as a water-powered gristmill in 1860 then to a steam-powered burr mill.  It was sold for $10 and turned into a cotton gin in 1895, a health spa with mineral waters in 1943, a hospital and clinic in 1949, and today a Historical Mill and Art Museum.  Charles E. Barnard and Herman Quimby enjoyed lucrative trading with the Indians during the years between 1847 and 1855.  By 1860, Barnard had contracted with Milam County for land on the river and began construction of Barnard’s Mill.  The foundation is 25 feet deep and rests on the bedrock of the Paluxy River.  Oxen from East Texas hauled handhewn timbers and its great oak beams support the various floors. The three-storied structure is made of native limestone and its water-powered turbine was designed to be the most advanced technologically in the area. The gristmill was capable of turning out the finest flour and corn meal and demand was from as far away as Waco.

On the 24th of April, 1874 Charles E. Barnard sold the mill to Major T. C. Jordan of Dallas who took over operation of the mill.  Times were changing and the community was growing.  The citizens signed a charter requesting the State Legislature to establish a new county and on March 15, 1875, Somervell County was created.

Jordan soon made an agreement with the leading citizens and encouraged the building of the first courthouse. Jordan operated the gristmill a few years, but with changing times he began to consider adding  a burr mill. The operation was by steam and daily business continued until financial problems developed.  By 1892 Jordan and his wife were living in the Territory of Arizona. On January 3, 1893, a contract was made and Jordan who sold the mill to A. J Price of Somervell County for the sum of $10.00.  A. J. Price began his operation of the mill and with cotton being a major crop in the area, the cotton gin was installed in 1895 and a steam powered compress was added.  The new age had arrived as wagons filled with cotton were hauled through the roads to the mill.

On April 2, 1943, the estate of Mr. Price sold the mill to Dr. J. J. Hanna.  Dr. Hanna had visions of a place of healing waters and setup a clinic for arthritic patients using the first floor as a water therapy room. He considered the mineral waters from the flowing springs in the area to be of therapeutic value to those who suffered from various health problems. World War II intervened an the venture was short-lived. Dr. Hanna added a wing to the original building and opened a less specialized hospital.

His daughter, Dr. Mildred Hanna, became the resident doctor. The hospital filled a great need to the community and during the next few years several doctors came through the doors. In December of 1949, Dr. Roger Marks arrived and set up practice within the hospital. On December 27 1955, the Hanna Family sold the hospital to Dr. Roger Marks and Dr. Robert English. The building became the Marks-English Hospital and Clinic.

Dr. Roger E. Marks and Dr. Robert D. English put their lives into the Marks-English Hospital and Clinic. Barnard’s Mill served the hospital well over the years. Some areas were used as the kitchen, the dining room, and rooms for therapy and staff. The Marks English Hospital and Clinic, which was located in the Barnard’s Mill complex, nurtured the citizens of Somervell County and surrounding areas.  Dr. Roger Marks continued his practice at this location until the present day hospital was built on Highway 67.

Barnard’s Mill and the Old

Marks-English hospital sat vacant most of the next few years. The Marks-English families sold Barnard’s Mill to Richard H. Moore, Jr. Richard Moore bought the Marks-English Hospital and Clinic on August 2, 1979. The facility sat empty for a number of years and over the next seven years he restored and furnished it with antiques from the Federal period to the Eastlake period (1775-1875). He established Barnard’s Mill Art Museum in the old hospital addition and filled it with the art collection from the Fielder Foundation and art works of his private collection.

In 2005, Mr. Moore began to explore the idea of making a gift of Barnard’s Mill to an organization he had observed for several years. He wanted to be sure his prize would be protected and enhanced upon and that the organization he chose would be able to have a dream and follow it through.  In 2005, Mr. Moore announced that he had chosen the Somervell History Foundation and presented the Foundation with a deed to Barnard’s Mill. In 2008, he deeded the Art Museum building to the Foundation.

Injecting Interior Floor
Interior Floor Settlement