Commissioners recently awarded a $442,279 contract to low bidder Pacific Studio Inc. to design and build interactive exhibits for Freeman's Mill Park.
The exhibits will tell the story of how grains have been planted, harvested and milled for centuries. Park visitors will see early milling machinery and a smaller scale mill that will grind bags of cornmeal to take home.
"We've already completed significant restoration work," said District 3 Commissioner Tommy Hunter. "And now we're getting ready to open this exhibit inside the gristmill by late next summer so park visitors can learn how it worked."
Hunter said he is excited about the mill helping young people today connect with the past.
"I remember the old mills from childhood and love stone-ground grits and meal," Hunter said. "It's something our modern, bustling lifestyle has lost connection with. Kids will be able to see how clever and effective the old technology was."
Gwinnett County bought the 150-year-old mill site in 2002.
Like many other historic sites preserved throughout the county, Freeman's Mill restoration is funded by voter-approved SPLOST programs.
Chairman Charlotte Nash said, "We're delighted to get this work underway during our Bicentennial Celebration to help educate future generations about 19th-century agriculture and life in Gwinnett County."
The 12-acre Freemans Mill Park is on the Alcovy River at 1401 Alcovy Road south of Dacula. In addition to the gristmill, the park features a playground and a half-mile paved trail. For more information, this and other SPLOST-funded projects, visit www.gwinnettcounty.com.