Is the mill secure?

‘Fingers crossed’ says contractor.

The mill at the Mill House is up on jacks and is as secure as it can be, a contractor says.

The mill at the Mill House in Vineyard Haven remains up on jacks, a potentially precarious position as the Island braces for the potential effects of Hurricane Dorian, which is expected to make a glancing blow.

Bob Hayden, who owns an off-Island house moving business, jacked the historic structure off its foundation in April just before the project was halted amid controversy that the rest of the house was demolished prematurely. There it’s remained since because then-Tisbury building inspector Ken Barwick issued a cease and desist order.

The mill was moved to the site in 1880, but part of the house that was destroyed dated back before the Revolutionary War.

The Martha’s Vineyard Commission is in the midst of a review of the project and is considering redrawn plans provided by architect Patrick Ahearn. The Land Use Planning Committee of the MVC will consider the plans on Monday, Sept. 16, and the full commission will consider the project again Thursday, Sept. 19.

“It depends on what the storm is going to do,” Hayden said of whether the structure is safe for a big blow. “It survived pretty strong gusts when the tornado [threat] went through.”

Hayden said there’s really nothing that can be done to secure it at this point. “It can’t be any more stable than I have it,” he said. “I’m not God. I can’t make it survive… I will cross my fingers, too.”