GREENVILLE — Second National Bank’s recent $10,000 check to Friends of Bear’s Mill is just one of the first corporate/company donations in the Friends’ capital campaign project.
The Friends’ mission is to preserve the historic structure and natural setting of the mill and provide educational environmental and recreational experiences for all to enjoy.
Kim Rudnik serves as outreach director of Friends. Officers are Chair Linda Snider, Vice President Barb Blair, Secretary Sally Rudy, Treasurer Gordon Smith and board members Gretchen Davis, Carl DeSantis, Lin Roberts and Levi Smith.
“Keep the Millstones Grinding” is the theme of the capital campaign.
Donor levels for the donations are $1,000 for the Bear’s Mill Joist Level; $5,000 for the Bear’s Mill Beam Level; $10,000 for the the Bear’s Mill Pillar Level; and $25,000 for the Bear’s Mill Wall Level.
This is their largest and most aggressive campaign with a goal of $200,000.
On Aug. 3, Tessa Clark, daughter of Terry and Julie Clark, presented a fashion show, dubbed “The Millers’ Daughter/A Fashion Show” at the mill and raised $20,000 for the cause.
“It was a one-time event,” said Rudnick. “We are hoping to get some grants as well as monetary donations to use toward repairs on the mill.”
Friends of Bear’s Mill, a gristmill that uses underwater turbines instead of a traditional water wheel located at 6450 Arcanum-Bear’s Mill Road, works to preserve the historic Bear’s Mill for future generations.
Its structural integrity is compromised, and projected construction is set to begin in 2020.
The campaign, Rudnick, said will be ongoing for awhile.
It was in 1824 that President James Monroe awarded George Adams 333 acres of land along the Greenville Creek for his brave service in the American Revolution.
Adams died in 1832, with the township bearing his name.
Brothers Moses and Manning Hart purchased the mill in 1848, then got into a sharp disagreement and sold the mill.
In 1849, Gabriel Baer of Lancaster, Pa., purchased the mill and later Americanized the name to Bear. Bear was a master miller and wanted the finest stones for grinding grain called “buhr stones” only found in France, costing $6,000 each in 1849.
Charley Andrews and wife Flossie purchased the mill in 1947 and owned it for 34 years.
It was noted that in 1979, a large amusement company wanted to purchase the mill.’
Then, Terry and Julie Clark, out for a drive on Sunday afternoon, came across the old mill and quickly bought it from Flossie Andrews, Charley’s widow. Thus, Bear’s Mill once more opened its doors to the citizens of Darke County and beyond.
In 2013, the mill became the property of the Friends of Bear’s Mill through a grant from Ohio Public Works Commission, Clean Ohio Conservation Fund.