GREENVILLE – The locals are always proud of the fine landmark and cultural center that is the Historic Bear’s Mill just outside Greenville, and OhioTraveler.com has recognized it as well, with a “Standout in Tourism” award for April.
“Bear’s Mill is to the art community what flour is to baking,” said Frank Satullo, the OhioTraveler.
OhioTraveler.com is one of the largest and most widely-visited online travel websites focused exclusively on travel and tourism in the state of Ohio.
“Bear’s Mill is one of the most visited attractions in Darke County,” said Matthew Staugler, Executive Director of the Darke County Visitors Bureau. “The historical significance of Bear’s Mill is incredible, and the cultural contributions of Bear’s Mill, from their ever-changing gallery space to events like ‘Soup ‘n Bowl,’ shine a bright light on the arts in our area.”
An unofficial kick-off to spring in Darke County, Bear’s Mill will host their Spring Open House on April 30 and May 1.
“We are pleased and honored to be recognized by Ohio Traveler as a standout in Ohio,” said Friends of the Bear’s Mill Executive Director Marti Goetz. “We do believe this is a great destination for tourists.”
“We have history, nature, art,” Goetz said.
Bear’s Mill is not only an historical mill; it’s an active one as well.
“We grind. We actually are producing flours,” Goetz said. “We produce cornmeal and wheat and spelt flours, and we’re actually sought after from chefs and The Bakehouse bakery; it’s an artisan bakery in Troy. And they bake bread and we sell it here in the mill.”
In addition to the functioning mill, the site houses a shop for the mill products and other edibles, kitchen items, gifts and more, as well as an active and dynamic art gallery, and nature trails.
“We have a lot of tour groups that come to the mill on formal tours,” Goetz said. “You can come on a formal tour where you get the grinding process demonstrated by our master miller, Terry Clark, who owned and operated the mill for 35 years. We also have a costumed docent, who gives the historical perspective. Then they can have coffee and cookies – cookies, of course, from our grain.”
Groups can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 937-548-5112 to set up a tour. Tours are available any time during the open season, when the mill is open six days a week, Tuesday through Saturday 11-5 and Sunday 1-5.
“We also have these art exhibits, which turn over about every six weeks, from April to December,” Goetz said.
Goetz said the plan is to “museumize” the mill, to highlight the history more in depth. That will be done in preparation for the SPOOM Conference, which will be hosted by Bear’s Mill in the fall.
SPOOM is a national organization, the Society for the Preservation of Old Mills.
“Last year (the annual conference) was in Sonoma Valley, California,” Goetz said. “This year, it’s here in the Miami Valley. They’ll be staying in downtown Dayton, but they’ll be seeing all kinds of mills in the area, as well as other history in this area, such as the canals and the Native American history and the prehistoric Indians.”
“Their time in Greenville will be very rich,” Goetz continued. “We already are going to go to Shawnee Prairie and downtown … but mostly spending time at the mill where all the SPOOMERS will be dining out on the lawn and enjoying the interaction with our master miller, Terry.”
For more information on Historic Bear’s Mill, visit in person at 6450 Arcanum-Bear’s Mill Road in Greenville, by phone at 937-548-5112, or online at www.bearsmill.com.
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