GREENVILLE — Historic Bear’s Mill hosted its annual fall open house over the weekend, inviting area residents to enjoy some music, art, food and a little taste of life from an all-but-forgotten past.
Saturday was cold, gray and rainy, but guests could cozy up to a bowl of old-fashioned 18-bean soup with cornbread. The tent went up on the patio and the grill was out, preparing burgers and brats.
A variety of tasty desserts and beverages could be found inside the gallery, where guests could view the currently featured artwork of Marsha Pippenger and Bob Coates, and enjoy the live music.
A regular feature at the Mill’s Clark Gallery is the pottery of one of its namesakes, Julie Clark. Her other half, and the other namesake, Terry Clark, spends more of his time upstairs.
Terry Clark is Master Miller at Bear’s Mill, and during the open house he provided demonstrations of the operation of the mill. He led guests from the second floor of the mill, where the corn goes into the hopper and gets fed in to be crushed between the buhr stones, up to the third and fourth floors of the mill.
Clark showed how one valve regulates the flow of water through the turbine and the speed of the buhr stones, while another makes the minute adjustments to the distance between buhr stones to get just the right consistency of the ground grains.
He showed guests the path of wooden chutes through the building that carry the grain up on cups and belts, and down by gravity with the flow controlled by wooden paddles. In fact, most of the controls are in the form of ropes, levers, wooden beams and pulleys.
The mill produces its own electricity, too.
The grain milled at the Bear’s Mill is available for sale in its shop, along with a variety of coffees, jams, spreads, breads, soup mixes and kitchen gadgets.