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Bear's Mill
Augusta Co. | Virginia | USA | log mill 1812, brick mill 1829, this mill 1908
Township: Churchville School Twp./Dist. | Watersource: Whiskey Creek.


Bear's Mill
Picture: Robert T. Kinsey 10/15/2008

Christian Bear Sr. arrived in 1809 to run a plantation for his father-in-law and to establish a cabinet making craft.

Bear's Mill
Picture: Robert T. Kinsey 10/15/2008

In 1812, or possibly earlier, he built a log wood working mill, or took over operations of an existing log mill.

Bear's Mill
Picture: Robert T. Kinsey 10/15/2008

The log frame mill was torn down in 1908 and the present structure was built on the same site using the same wooden wheel.

Bear's Mill
Picture: Robert T. Kinsey 10/15/2008

A steel wheel was purchased in 1927. This wheel was 10.5' in diameter and 4' wide, purchased from the Fitz Water Wheel Co.

Bear's Mill
Picture: Robert T. Kinsey 10/15/2008

After 3 years of work on the dam, head race, water wheel and a 15 horsepower engine, the mill was ready to go again in 2008.

Bear's Mill
Picture: Robert T. Kinsey 10/15/2008

The earlier log mill also served as a carding mill and fulling mill.

Bear's Mill
Picture: Robert T. Kinsey 10/15/2008

Christian Bear Jr. was the next operator, followed by his son Ephraim.

Bear's Mill
Picture: Robert T. Kinsey 10/15/2008

In 1829, Christian added a second mill, a 3 story brick mill that served as a grist mill.

Bear's Mill
Picture: Robert T. Kinsey 10/15/2008

The brick mill was torn down in 1926, and the bricks were used to build a new funeral home.

Bear's Mill
Picture: Robert T. Kinsey 10/15/2008

Part of the old foundation of the brick mill can still be seen.

Bear's Mill
Picture: Robert T. Knsey 10/15/2008

Early in the 20th century the Bear Mill supplied electricity to the village of Churchville. The mill had been put out of commission in the 1990's by a flood.

Bear's Mill
Picture: Robert T. Kinsey 10/15/2008

The water power part is ready for the 1908 wood-working mill to again operate; however, Bill Bear is 83 years old and still involved with the funeral homebusiness.

Directions: Take US 250 west from Staunton to the village of Churchville. Turn left onto Green Hill Lane/Sh 42. The mill is located behind the Bear Funeral Home at 14 Green Hill Lane/Sh 42 at Sh 836.
 
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