Picturesque views! Pulleys hang from 14-ft ceiling! Visible timbers & beams
Diana & Daryl Pals
About Diana & Daryl Pals
We are intrigued by old structures and strive to protect them. Our first restoration projects included restoring a barn and its two-story farm house that one person said should be "dozed." We have dissembled a carriage house, numbered the boards, moved it and reassembled it on the mill property. Our latest venture has been restoration of a Queen Anne-style house. In our spare time we enjoy nature, bicycling, kayaking, and restoration of antiques. We believe the mill's awesome ambiance should be shared 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? The mill was here! It was 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 after the business of milling animal feed closed in 1978. He focused on saving the mill from demolition by straightening it, then working from foundation to roof replacing mortar, windows, doors, siding and shingles. We did the "easy" work - drywalling, tearing up flooring, patching floors where all the belts and chains passed through, building walls, cabinets, insulating, painting and various other chores. Visitors remind us of the mill's fascinating character which we now take for granted. As a child, Daryl traveled across the bridge with his parents to visit relatives in a nearby town. He would stand up to see the mill. No car seats then!!
What makes this Mill unique
Stay in a mill built in 1867. •Craftsmanship surrounds you. •Walls enclose the spacious bathroom and utility room with washer and dryer. Architectural features: •Massive beams, columns & their supports. • "floating" joists, pulleys hanging from the ceiling, • Ceiling 14 feet above the living room area. • Drywall and custom kitchen cabinets emphasis the wooden beams. • Sliding glass doors frame the river scene. Inside those doors, • Original mill flooring, patched where grain chutes & belts passed through the floor, leads to the living area & stairs to the levels above and below (Those levels are not part of this deck-level rental unit.) Windows and doors throughout the mill are framed with wood flooring salvaged from this level. BENEFIT #2: Escape big city hustle & 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, sparkling in the morning light. Watch dazzling sunsets. 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. River boat launches for small craft are within 1, 5 or 15 minutes. If it is not high-water, you can carry your kayak to the adjacent park, launch, paddle upstream and float back without getting in your vehicle. No kayak? Crawdaddy Outdoors rents them 6.5 miles away. Over 100 miles of hard-surfaced trails are within 1 to 25 miles. A short one is two blocks away along the river at Rasmussen Park! An eight-mile trail is one mile north. Motorcyclists can enjoy the abundance of scenic county highways in the area. Swim year round - summer @ town pool & all year @ "The W' six miles away. BENEFIT #3: Wartburg College & University of Northern Iowa are within 6 & 22 miles.
Check-in: 3:00 PM
Check-out: 11:00 AM
Small family parties with owner's consent prior.
No smoking inside, on porches or deck.
May not be suitable for active toddlers - stairs.
Minimum age of primary renter:21
Max guests:6 (sleeps up to 6 adults)
No candles or incense. No fireworks on premises.
If you get it out, put it back.
Spray stall/bath walls after showering.
100% refund if canceled at least 14 days before arrival date. 50% refund if canceled at least 7 days before arrival date.
Super cute eclectic place to stay! Definitely coming back and staying again!
Very easy process
The Old Mill for my 40th
An amazing experience at one of Iowa's most unique VRBO locations. Six of us stayed and had a great weekend celebrating my 40th birthday and we will definitely be back again.
Thanks for lodging at The Old Mill, enjoying the games and the view. We appreciate that you followed check-out instructions to a T. It is this continuous care by all that preserves the town's 1867 landmark for the enjoyment of future guests!
Daryl & Diana
Old Mill Proprietors
The property was exactly like the photos! A perfect alternative to staying at a hotel. I loved the open floor concept. It allowed for the entire family to hangout and play with the games that were provided. The kids really enjoyed the yard and the fact that there were outdoor activities provided for them to enjoy. The beds were comfortable and the location was nice and quiet.
Thank you, Erin and family, for lodging at The Old Mill. We tailor the little touches to our guests' ages when possible. We're delighted the studio/deck apartment met your needs and expectations for your family getaway. Do return!
Check Out Issues
A few of us slept at the Old Mill for 3 days and I say slept because we were at the VRBO awake for no more than 2 hours. Everything was going great, easy check in and enough room for all of us to sleep. When it was time for us to check out we followed the check out posted: take sheets off the bed, wipe down shower, dishes we clean in the sink and towels in bathtub (I hung ours up on the tub since a few were wet) just like they wanted. Seemed easy enough but I got a text after we checkout that we did not follow the directions, place was messy and it would take them extra time to clean which would be taken out of my deposit...I replied back about doing things on the checklist but never got another reply after saying it was messy and would take extra time. I would like to have heard what they thought was messy (maybe the chair that wasn't pushed in or the 2 K-cups in the trash). Like I mentioned before we were hardly there and the check out process was followed. I am from the area and still have family who lives nearby, I would have rented the VRBO again but to say that we did not have it clean was not true. First time using VRBO but my other online rental rating is a 5 because I leave the places I rent clean.
This guest's total deposit is to be returned.
Their response to our text asking"CHECK OUT LIST handled? Have you left?" was confusing:
"We have not we are on our way. Almost everything is done."
-- Our response to the guest's text, "I think everything was cleaned up properly?" is quoted below verbatim and did not include the word "messy."
"Well..... Not exactly. VRBO guests pick up after themselves, follow the check in & out lists because we are not a hotel. We'll see how much longer cleanup takes than usual & get back to you this eve."
-- The guest replied she complied with the checklist. After we read her review, we discovered our text response in our "drafts" folder and sent it. The response indicated a $60 discount had been given when the reservation was edited to add an additional night and an extra guest; $20 was added for the fifth guest. The full deposit would be returned.
-- Our guests have set the bar high as far as their care of our historic mill. Most leave it in excellent condition.
-- We strive for top-notch conditions for our guests, fairness and honesty in our interactions, and open communication.
-- Check-in and check-out lists are posted in The Old Mill. Guests are encouraged to call us with questions. We ask them to call (or text) when they arrive and when they depart.
-- Prior to this guest's check-in, three of our text messages, an email and a message via VRBO were not acknowledged. A phone message could not be left because the guest's mailbox was full. They did not call or text after entering the mill. Our assistant notified us the guests left.
-- Regarding K cups, used K cups had been placed back with new ones.
-- We wonder why the review stated "A few of us ..." when the reservation was for five adults?
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!
Quaint, historic, right in the heart of town.
My family and I were looking for a weekend getaway and found the Old Mill. We were really pleased with the loft apartment, with a large deck overlooking the Shell Rock River. And just across the bridge was the heart of town, where we enjoyed a casual dinner at the Riverview Cafe. Kitchen was well stocked, plenty of charm and space in this unit. And we also enjoyed the adjacent park and yard space on the property. Lots of space for our kids to explore. And Waverly was just a short drive to see more of this part of Iowa. We would recommend this spot!
We're delighted your family enjoyed your weekend escape at The Old Mill, and it was warm enough to bicycle, too. When you return, we'll be sure to stock plenty of Keurig "strong" coffee. Thanks!
Enjoy small town living on Highway 3, two miles west of Highway 218, a four-lane highway known as "The Avenue of the Saints" which links St. Paul, MN, (three hours to the north) and St. Louis, MO (six hours to the south). The Shell Rock River provides a backdrop for fishing, canoeing, and kayaking. April walleye fishing is fantastic right from the mill's river bank! Fishermen pull in catfish under the bridge in mid-summer.
When you tire of the river, within 30 miles are numerous city, county and state parks, plus these activities:
>Lost Island Waterpark (2017 rated one of top ten waterparks in US by USA Today),
>a casino, over 100 miles of hard-surface bicycling trail
> Dan Gable Wrestling Museum
> competitive high school and college wrestling teams
> art and science museums in Waterloo, Iowa.
>The Little Brown Church at Nashua, Iowa, made popular by a song, is 25 minutes away.
>dThe University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, Iowa, is within 20 minutes
> Wartburg College at Waverly, Iowa, is within 6.5 miles.
Both provide cultural and sporting events.
>30-minute drive to Waterloo Black Hawks a junior ice hockey team that plays in the United States Hockey League
> Bucks baseball team, Waterloo, IA.
>Numerous quilt shops are within 30-minute drive.
>An Amish settlement at Hazelton, Iowa, is a 45-minute drive to antique shop, bakeries, furniture makers, general stores, etc. and produce auctions in the summer. Your personal guided tour can be arranged!
>The first whitewater park to open in Iowa is 30 miles north on the Cedar River at Charles City, Iowa. The course is open year round at no charge. It has multiple skill levels for kayakers, stand-up paddle boarders, and tubers.
>On your way, stop at the Little Brown Church at Nashua, Iowa, made famous by the song.