Restoration of the 20-foot oak water wheel at Colvin Run Mill is nearing completion. County Park Authority carpenters Jim Beatty and Al Casto have spent weeks assembling the pieces of the water wheel so the gears will be turning and stones grinding this spring. An official unveiling ceremony is planned in early June.

Colvin Run Mill, built in 1811 on land once owned by George Washington, was restored by the Park Authority from 1965 to 1972. The restoration included a new water wheel to power the mill machinery and grind stones, allowing flour and meal to be produced there.

That water wheel wore out, leading to the current project. Pieces used in the construction include a 125-year-old oak tree for the axle and oak boards for the water wheel rim and buckets.

A view, top, from inside the mill on the second floor. Above, Alex Ekval, 9, and Stephen Craig, 10, listen as volunteer docent Charles Brunner, right, explains the inner workings of Colvin Run Mill to them and other Wakefield Forest fourth-graders during a tour last Thursday. The mill is part of a historic site at 10017 Colvin Run Rd., Great Falls.From left, Jacinta Lam, 10, Erin George, 9, and Natalie Johnson, 10, all fourth-grade students at Wakefield Forest Elementary School, check out the new 20-foot overshot water wheel at Colvin Run Mill.The water wheel powers the mill machinery and grind stones to produce flour and meal.