Enjoy river views from the 1867 mill's first floor apartment, deck or patio.
Diana & Daryl Pals
About Diana & Daryl Pals
Mill curator, lovers of early 1900's antiques and primitives. We enjoy nature, bicycling, kayaking and restoration of antiques and buildings. We want to share the mill's awesome ambience with others. We lived in the mill from 2002 through 2015.
Diana & Daryl Pals purchased this Mill in 2002
Why Diana & Daryl Pals chose Shell Rock
Why did we buy this property in Shell Rock? Because the mill was here waiting for a new opportunity in its long life. The challenge was to take it from a shell with minimal electricity and no plumbing to an insulated, habitable residence while retaining the charm of the massive wooden beams. The previous owner purchased the mill when the business of milling animal feed closed in 1978. He focused on saving the mill from demolition by straightening it, then working from roof to foundation replacing shingles, siding, windows doors and mortar. Visitors remind us of the mill's awesome character which we now take for granted.
What makes this Mill unique
BENEFIT #1: Historic 1867 architecture! The craftsmanship is unparalled today with mortise and tenon construction. Massive beams, columns & their supports, "floating" floor joists are all visible. Drywall was hung & custom kitchen cabinets were built to leave structural wood exposed. Windows and doors throughout the mill are framed with wood flooring salvaged from the second floor level. BENEFIT #2: Get away from the big city hustle and bustle. Enjoy nature. Relax by the river or on it! Walk onto the deck above the river. It will take your breath away! Listen to the rush of the river over the dam. First thing in the morning, gaze out at the river as it tumbles by. Experience Iowa's varied landscape and small town friendliness from the mill's comfortable, convenient location. Kayak, canoe or fish just steps away from the mill. Boat launches are within one, five or fifteen minutes. If it is not high-water, you can even carry your kayak to the park next door, launch, paddle upstream and float back without getting in your truck! No kayak? No problem. Crawdaddy Outdoors rents them 6.5 miles away! Over 100 miles of hard-surfaced trails are within one to 25 miles from the mill. A short one is two blocks away along the river at Rasmussen Park - great walk or ride! An eight-mile trail is one mile north of town. Motorcyclists can enjoy the abundance of scenic county highways in the area. Swimming is available year round - summer at the town pool & all year at "The W" six miles away at Wartburg. BENEFIT #3: Wartburg College & University of Northern Iowa are 6 and 22 miles away with cultural and sporting events.
100% refund for cancellations more than 14 days before check-in date. 50% refund for cancellations more than 7 days before check-in date.
beautiful old mill
This beautiful old mill was absolutely perfect for me. It is filled with beautiful antiques and " old things " . ( I got a kick out of the sock monkey. )Open the windows and hear the sound of water. the mill is stocked with EVERYTHING you could ever need.The owners are just the sweetest people. Great getaway place !!
Thanks for your kind comments. The Old Mill is not just any "run of the mill" lodging. It's a gem we love to share. Odd, eccentric or "old things" are tucked here and there for guests' entertainment. Sock monkey hangs out downstairs. Raggedy Ann and Andy do their thing on the deck level. Do return in colder weather when you can enjoy the surroundings more! Open year round.
Shalom, Daryl & Diana
This place was amazing and the perfect place to stay for vacation. They offered so much more than we were expecting, the place was well equipped and the owners were very amazing and helpful, we can't say enough great things about them. We would stay here anytime and hope to return in the future!
Thanks for vacationing at The Old Mill. It was delightful meeting you Todd & your family. We aim to personalize the space and tailor it to the age range of our guests. We want you to feel it's your "home away from home." Sounds like we hit the target. Thanks for your kind comments.
Amazing property with everything you need!
This is an unusual property and it's astounding what the owners have preserved. We were lucky enough to meet them and get the whole tour. As for accommodations, they've thought of pretty much everything. The kitchen is totally stocked and lovingly labeled. There are even snacks and other little things like spices. There's a washer/dryer, plenty of towels, blankets etc. And it's very spacious! We will certainly come back.
The town of Shell Rock is tiny, but friendly. Don't get freaked out with the whistle sound - they do that at noon and 6pm! Also note that Waverly isn't a far drive and has everything -- including yoga studios, bowling, shops and The Mixing Bowl bakery (homemade doughnuts on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays! They are worth it!). If you a small town Iowa experience, I highly recommend the Mill. I stayed with two teens and an 8yo, plus my elderly mother visited us, and we were all very comfortable! Diana also has great recommendations for places to see and things to do.
Thank you, Victoria. Meeting you and your family was a special treat. It's not often that happens. Our guests' comfort is our number one priority. We're delighted you enjoyed your introduction to Iowa small town living and our historic old mill.
Lovely place to stay on the river. Granddaughter graduated from UNI and had family gathering here. They all said it was like walking into a museum. Diana was so helpful and even put a UNI flag out in the yard. Then my granddaughter 's boyfriend proposed! Very special place!
Thanks, Linda! We're delighted The Old Mill provided a unique, rustic, comfy gathering spot for your family to make treasured memories for your UNI graduate.
Daryl & Diana
Warm and Cozy Place in Shell Rock
Great stay at The Old Mill! We were in town for the weekend to visit family and ended up staying an extra day due to bad weather. We were so happy we were here instead of at a hotel. We had both units and it was very quiet and homey. Everything we needed was there and everything was in working order. Diana and Daryl were available for any questions. We will be back!
The mill was set up and prepared perfectly for our visit.
Gorgeous and comfortable setting in such a historic venue. Wonderful small town charm and updated furnishings in the mill. It was very comfortable and enjoyable for all ages of our group. We'll be back.
We're delighted your family's three generations enjoyed the mill's ambience and could be near the local birthday party. Do return. Consider it your home away from home. Thanks for your kind review and for choosing The Old Mill.
Shalom, Daryl and Diana
Small town living two miles from the four-lane highway known as "The Avenue of the Saints" which links St Paul, MN, and St. Louis, MO. Within 30 miles are Lost Island Waterpark (one of the top ten waterparks in the country), a casino, over 100 miles of hard-surface bicycling trails, arboretum, wrestling museum, very competitive high school and college wrestling teams, art and science museums and lesser known Iowa treasures.The Little Brown Church at Nashua, Iowa, made popular by a song, is 25 minutes away. A state university and private college within 20 minutes provide cultural and sporting events. Also within a 30-minute drive, you can watch the Waterloo Black Hawks, a junior ice hockey team that plays in the United States Hockey League and the Bucks baseball. Numerous quilt shops are within 30-minute drive. It is 45 minutes to Amish at Hazelton, their produce auction, bakeries, furniture makers, general stores, etc. Fish from the river bank just outside the mill.