While working to uncover the history of Ritchies Mill, Launceston Big Picture School year 12 student Iman McGregor discovered it was hit by fire in 1943, but saved by the first sprinkler system in Launceston.
Iman's research and interviews will be used to create a video about the flour mill, with the fire as a central theme.
"The fire happened on Christmas Eve, during the war. The mill only suffered mild damage from the fire. It wasn't that bad, but because it was a flour mill it could have ended pretty badly," Iman said.
It was the sprinkler system that ensured the building was not badly damaged, because so many men were fighting in the war there were not enough to fight the fire.
Beams burned in that fire have been incorporated into the latest Stillwater project - SEVEN accommodation, which includes part of the old mill.
These accommodation suites will open in the coming weeks.
The mill was built in 1932, with parts of it housing Stillwater's wine cellar.
It was Launceston's principal supply for fresh water until 1857.
Water was funnelled to the mill by the wooden water chutes that lined Cataract Gorge from a dam at the First Basin.
This water also drove the mill stones.
Ritchies Mill was sold to Monds and Affleck - now Tasmanian Flour Mills - in 1973, with that business using the site intermittently until 1991.
Rod Ascui bought the mill in 1998, developing Stillwater Restaurant on the site, along with the hairdressing salon, Mill Providore and Gallery and, now, SEVEN.
"It's got a pretty long history. The name Ritchie wasn't actually attached to the mill that's still standing until 1836, when David Ritchie purchased the mill," Iman said.
"The mill was replaced by concrete silos in 1910. Concrete silos were a new technology to Tasmania, as it was the first of its kind," she said.
The project has been completed as part of the Learning Through Internship program, with Iman working on a historical video that may become an advertisement.
"I'm seeing if I could somehow make it an advertisement for the place," she said.
Researching, interviewing Stillwater co-owner Kim Seagram and creating video content has taken Iman about 30 hours, with more editing to come before completion.
Iman's research has been overseen by teacher Sara Jessup, who owned the hairdressing salon at the Stillwater site for 16 years.
"It's about students identifying areas of interest for projects and to explore workplaces along those lines," Ms Jessup said.
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