Old timey heaven, the mill has been beautifully preserved and made even more atmospheric by the antiques collected by its owner, Bob Russell. Here's how the front porch looks now, complete with a country musician.
Touring with Russell was fascinating, but I split off from the group because I couldn't resist the old fashioned country store, loaded with memorabilia and stocked with stone-ground flours, grains and baking mixes produced by the mill.
But I missed a lot, including a peek at Russell's museum-like office (above), crammed with antiques.
Russell (above) bought the mill 10 years ago. He's now the mayor of Eagle Point, a town so small that only about 30 show up for Rotary meetings Next to the mill is an antiques store crammed with more of his finds. In 1895, it was a cheese factory.
Butte Creek Mill is open every day, and tours are free. It's also a party site, and for my group, Russell had set up a tent in the yard and ordered food from another old timey place, the Jacksonville Inn in nearby Jacksonville.
The menu was up to date, though, not vintage. We started with grilled fingerling potatoes, crispy leeks, chive broth and a fresh-shucked oyster followed by diver scallops with apple fennel slaw, local pea shoots, a quail egg and California sturgeon caviar (above).
In the mill's olden days, no one would have heard of the next course, duck confit sliders with Asian slaw, Sriracha aioli and lotus root chips. Grilled beef tenderloin, potato puree and carrots would have been more familiar, except for a square of crispy pork belly on the plate.
For dessert, a famous Oregon product, Rogue Creamery blue cheese, appeared in a cake with hazelnut crust that somehow stood on end without toppling over. Its accompaniments were fresh local figs and pear butter in a sugar nest.
With these we drank local wines, a 2014 Albariño from Abacela, Pebblestone's 2014 Viognier, a Folin Syrah from 2011, Jaxon's 2012 Tempranillo and Cuckoo's Nest Cellars Fizzé Early Muscat 2014.
Butte Creek Mill, 402 N. Royal Ave., Eagle Point, Oregon 97524. Tel: (541) 826-3531. Butte Creek products can be ordered online. Go to www.buttecreekmill.com.