In this October 2012 file photo, Karen Raye of Raye's Mustard in Eastport helps Linda McKee, left, of Florida with choosing from one of many mustard varieties at the store. Credit: John Clarke Russ / BDN

EASTPORT, Maine — A museum that’s planned around what’s touted as the last stone-ground mustard mill in the nation received a major donation.

The Raye’s Mustard Mill Museum announced that the Hutchins family, longtime owners of the Dead River Company, donated a Dead River building with an appraised value of $157,000.

“As we prepare to launch a campaign to preserve America’s last remaining traditional stone ground mustard mill as a working museum, this is a very special lead gift,” said Tessa Chaffey Ftorek, president of the museum board.

Karen and Kevin Raye, who came up with the idea for a working museum, said the property will eventually be sold to provide funds for the museum.

The Hutchins family owned Dead River Company for 114 years, until May 2021. The gift was made through the family real estate company to help preserve Raye’s Mustard Mill “as a cultural icon,” according to a Hutchins family spokesman.

The mustard mill was built in 1903 to supply sardine canneries, which have since closed. But the company continues to produce a variety of mustard products.