We are saddened to hear of the passing of Tom Pugh, Sr., of Little Rock. From his obituary: “He was named after his grandfather, an agricultural business leader in southeast Arkansas, who was also a close friend and benefactor of North Little Rock developer, Justin Matthews. Mr. Matthews constructed, and then dedicated as a gesture of friendship, The Old Mill at T.R. Pugh Memorial Park in 1933.” Tom Pugh, Sr., was a veteran of the United States Air Force and was a cotton ginner in southeast Arkansas. Our deepest condolences to the Pugh family, who have always been supportive and involved in the care of The Old Mill. http://www.ruebelfuneralhome.com/obituaries
Friends of the Old Mill, Inc. (FOM) is a volunteer organization made up of citizens working with the NLR Parks and Recreation Department, the NLR Visitor’s Bureau, the NLR History Commission, and the Pulaski County Master Gardeners. FOM is dedicated to improving and maintaining the integrity and beauty of T.R Pugh Memorial Park (commonly known as the Old Mill). T.R Pugh Memorial Park is a small (approximately 3 acres) North Little Rock, AR, city-owned park dedicated to the memory of the Arkansas pioneers. The park contains unique sculptures done by the renowned artist Señor Dionicio Rodriguez and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places (Site #86003585). Because the park and the historic structures located on it are so unique and have such a significant place in the memory of all who have visited it.
Throughout the year, small groups of FOM volunteers perform work details such as litter pick up, flower bed rejuvenation, vegetation maintenance, wildlife habitat maintenance, structure reconditioning, etc. in and around the park. All of our activities are dedicated to preserving and enhancing the park by going above and beyond what the city is able to do to maintain the park.
The FOM activities consist of, but are not limited to, working with the City Parks Department and the Pulaski County Master Gardener Program to:
- Maintain the historical integrity of the Old Mill site inside a virtual perimeter.
- Provide a park that will attract visitors and residents, and also give the community and students educational opportunities.
- Provide handicapped accessibility as much as is possible given the nature of the site.
- Install interpretive graphics to briefly explain the unique history of the park.
- Repair all original park features using appropriate materials.
- Perform pruning, thinning, and planting of permanent and seasonal landscaping appropriate for the historic setting.
- Address functional problems such as water quality and erosion.
- Generally maintain the beauty of the park.
- Provide volunteers to give tours, help with maintenance, and assist the City in any way possible.
- Using our 501(c)(3) non-profit status to raise funds to do all of the above.
The current major project at the Old Mill to be completed is to install a pump from Lake #2 to pump water to the upper water feature. This will enable water to flow through all the features, ponds, falls, and wheel throughout the year. We have rebuilt the cascading waterfall and are awaiting the installation of the pump.
Testing water flow amounts was recently done to determine what size pump and pipes area needed. Videos can be seen here on YouTube.
History of the Old Mill
Please visit nlrpr.org/parks/old_mill for the history pages.
For more information or to book a wedding,
call the North Little Rock Parks and Recreation Department at 501-791-8537.
You can also help by volunteering as a Friend of the Old Mill. We are looking for gardeners, manual laborers, grant writers, fund raisers, tour guides, or just moral supporters. For more information on how you can help, please contact Bert Turner at 501-551-9072, Bert@friendsoftheoldmill.org, or the North Little Rock Convention and Visitor’s Bureau at 1-800-643-4690 / 501-758-1424, email@example.com.
T.R Pugh Memorial Park (The Old Mill)
3800 Lakeshore Drive • North Little Rock, AR 72116
GPS: 34° 47.480’N 92° 14.971’W / 34.791325° -92.249512°
Google Map Link