OK, so this year was our "Lucky 13" event. And... the luckiest thing that happened was that it did not rain until we were picking up and everyone had gone home. That makes the second rain free derby day in thirteen years. There were the usual 35 great prizes donated by several local merchants and crafts persons.
Please find their names listed in another section of this newsletter. We very much appreciate their continued support of Ben's Mill. We sold less ducks this year (525), but it still went very well.

We had 22 great volunteers doing various jobs like retrieving ducks, parking cars, chasing ducks down the river, selling ducks, punching info into the computer, minding the "kids table" and entertaining us as we waited for the final tally of who won what. The afore mentioned entertainment was musical and presented by the AOK Kids. They are really quite special. If you haven't had an opportunity to hear these talented youngsters play, you are missing out. This event could never happen without willing volunteers. Thanks to all of you.

There were monetary prizes called "Lucky Ducks" again this year. Six numbers were drawn after the Derby in 2015 and placed in a sealed envelope. Unfortunately, the last number (592) was for a duck that was not sold, so only five prizes were awarded.

Once again this year there was a free raffle of Darned Good Ducky Chow. That stuff is addictive! Also this year was a raffle for another planter made with Ben's Mill hands. This one was so beautiful.

In two years it will be our 15th annual and we are hoping to do something special to commemorate the event. It is time for a think tank session, I believe. Stay tuned. Got any ideas? Send them on to us.

The "Lucky Ducks" for 2017 have been drawn. Make sure you don't miss the Derby. October 7, 2017. And Liam... make sure your Gram buys you ducks again... you have won EVERY year that she has bought ducks!

~ Lois Allen, Ducky Derby Coordinator


The sun was shining for Ducky Day 2015 and, wow, everyone was happy to see the beautiful fall weather. 597 rubber ducks swiftly raced down the river to be caught by our intrepid rubber duck catchers.  The river was really fast this year and 6 ducks slipped through the netting. If you find a rubber duck with a number on the underside, please contact us.

We had a wonderful assortment of prizes ranging from local gift certificates to baskets of goodies and even a fire extinguisher!  Thank you so much to everyone who donated prizes.  Evan Perkins demonstrated blacksmithing in the blacksmth shop and Mike Lamp demonstrated the duplicating lathe and made a peavey handle on the wood lathe.  Scott Ordway demonstrated the engine lathe. Thank you all for educating and entertaining our visitors young and old.  Hiram Allen and Eric Esser made a mini wood tub/planter for our raffle and Courtney Mead, blacksmith, made the bands.  Thank you to Hiram, Eric and all our volunteers!

Our musical entertainment this year was the A-OK Kids from Barnet and they were a real crowd pleaser.  They are really kids but they can tear up the place with thier talent and heart. If you live near Barnet and have a chance to see them - do it!  You won't be disappointed. 

And a very special think you to Lois Allen for everything she does to organize and manage this fundraiser. Not only does Lois keep it all running smoothly but she always comes up with new ideas to keep Ducky Day fresh and fun. 

Ducky Day 2015 raised $3,723.74 which is used for the maintenance and restoration of Ben's Mill.


Ducky Day 2014 was, thanks to all the great volunteers and members, a resounding success once again.  597 rubber ducks made their way down the Stevens River. They were carefully watched by our talented duck minders and scooped up at the end by our brave duck catchers.  A new system for organizing the first ducks over the line was in place this year leading to a speedy announcement of the winning names. Thank you so much to everyone who donated prizes.  There was a wonderful selection of beautiful, creative and even delicious prizes to choose from.

Evan Perkins volounteered to demonstrate blacksmithing in the blacksmith shop.   Scott Ordway also generously donated his time and skill and demonstrated the workings of our engine lathe. We appreciate your help, Scott and Evan! Both of these activies were of great interest to the crowd. Teaching people about the many trades and products that have come from the mill is a very important part of our mission.  And it's fun! 

We sold 106 Quack Packs (5 ducks for 20 dollars) so that is a very popular feature. Thank you to Hiram Allen and Eric Esser for building the water tub - crafted at the mill - which brought in $102. Our total profit for 2014 was $3577, all of which is dedicated to the upkeep of this great historic mill.





Our 10th annual Ducky Day fundraiser for the mill, Oct. 5, was finally blessed with a beautiful and dry fall day! 535 rubber ducks went into the Stevens River and floated to the finish line, helped along by our duck minders and caught at the end by our talented rubber duck catchers. A record $3,400 was raised – hooray!

Thirty five fantastic prizes were picked by thirty five lucky winners as well as kids' prizes and a successful wooden water tub raffle. Many many thanks to all who donated the prizes and to Hiram Allen and Eric Esser for, once again, crafting a beautiful water tub at the mill.

This year we had a few new twists to the duck race – one out of every one hundred ducks was a Lucky Duck winner for an extra prize and Quack Packs were sold (5 ducks for $20) which gave the buyers an extra duck for their money.

The crowd was plentiful and it was wonderful to see all the kids helping to make cider and cheering their ducks on during the race. Tritium Well provided the great music, the Barnet Trailblazers and their food truck kept us fed and Boy Scout Troop #707 from St. Johnsbury lit a campfire and roasted marshmallows.

Hats off to our volunteers who help us faithfully every year to make Ducky Day, our one fundraiser for Ben's Mill, a success. We appreciate you!


Ducky Day 2012 was a great success thanks to all our wonderful and dedicated volunteers and friends. This year we managed to race the ducks in the river. A total of 350 rubber ducks made their way down the Stevens River. Some meandered, some zoomed, some took a few scenic detours among the rocks, but eventually all 350 ducks were caught by our talented team of catchers at the finish line.

The mill raised $2,521 for this our one fund raiser of the year and we would like to express our deep appreciation to all of our friends who donated prizes, volunteered and to everyone who came to the mill that morning to spend some time with us. As always, we offered tours and blacksmith demonstrations, great live music and the chance to visit one of very few remaining mills in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont.


Barnet, Vermont - on the West Barnet Road, about 2.5 miles west of I-91. 

OPEN Memorial Day - Columbus Day
SAT & SUN, 11a-3p


For tours, please call Mike Lamp at


View Larger Map

Ben's Mill Trust
P.O. Box 50
Barnet, Vermont
(802) 357-2010


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