DARKE COUNTY — A group of authors and publishers from Darke County recently completed work on a fourth grade history textbook titled A Story of Bear’s Mill: A Darke County Treasure. Through the help of sponsors, the book will be donated to all fourth-grade students in Darke County.
The book was authored by Lois Smith, a long time Darke County resident and educator of 31 years, and Lin Roberts, a Friends of Bear’s Mill board member. Both women are incredibly proud of Darke County history, and see the book as a way to educate young people on the importance of local history. The book was illustrated and designed by Cheryl Goettemoeller, an artist and Darke County native now living with her family in Los Angeles.
Smith, now 91 years old, said the book was a four-year process filled with many ups and downs. The group struggled to find an illustrator, which led to many setbacks while writing. Now that it’s all come together, the group couldn’t be more proud of their efforts to educate Darke County’s youth.
“We’ve worked incredibly hard on this book and it’s just wonderful to see it finally come to fruition,” said Smith. “We couldn’t be more thankful to the folks who helped make this happen, and we hope the kids will enjoy it and it will be useful for years to come.”
She also added that being an associate of Bear’s Mill, where she guides tours of the building and grounds, has been a wonderful experience. In addition to this book, Smith has also published writings in several agriculture and children’s magazines.
Roberts, the book’s co-author, has a passion for education. She has an M.B.A from Urbana University and previously worked in business, but stated that her passion lies in education. She continues to work in the university academic area, where she has been since 2003. Aside from her day-to-day work, Roberts stated she is fascinated by the history of the mill, and sees it as a centerpiece of Darke County history.
“This book is a love of history for me. I want to make sure Darke County history is preserved for future generations to enjoy, and continue to educate our youth on the history of their home,” said Roberts. “We’re so thankful for the people who helped make this possible, and we look forward to distributing more copies.”
The authors would like to offer a special thank you to the following groups for their support throughout the endeavor: Friends of Bear’s Mill Board, Darke County Foundation, Harry D. Stephens Memorial Inc., Lydia E. Schaurer Memorial Trust, Garst Museum, and the Greenville Public Library. The group would also like to thank the Darke County Foundation for a generous grant, and Commercial Printing Company in Greenville for printing the books.
To purchase a copy of the book, visit Bear’s Mill, 6450 Arcanum-Bear’s Mill Road, the Garst Museum, 205 N. Broadway in Greenville, or Shawnee Prarie, 4267 St. Rt. 502. For more information, contact Bear’s Mill at 937-548-5112.