Volunteers remove debris from the former Mellen State Bank building. An organization called the Mellen Brownstone Center is seeking nonprofit status so it can accept tax-deductible donations to repurpose the structure as an interpretive center for the Mellen and Copper Falls region.

Although he never lived in the community, John Stilin of Redmond, Wash., was among the first to make a donation to help save the crumbling Mellen Bank Building.

Stilin’s father, the son of Croatian immigrants who moved to Mellen in the early 1900s, was born in the then-booming Ashland County community.

John Stilin


Mellen Bank 2

A worker from Angelo Lupino Construction removes vintage bricks from a chimney in danger of collapse. The bricks will be reused in the reconstruction of the building.

Jeff Peters



A brick honoring the Sertich family is an example of the bricks that will be sold as a fundraiser when the Mellen Brownstone Center receives its tax-exempt status. Jacob Sertich of Exeter, Cal., helped to save the Mellen State Bank Building, buying the structure with his own money for $14,000, making it possible to begin the process of saving the building.

Nate Delegan


(Copyright © 2021 APG Media)

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