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Page 7

Newsletter 112, Spring 2016  © Hampshire Mills Group



Matt the Miller visits Bear’s Mill  - Part 2

Greenville, Ohio, USA  - August 2015


Matt Painter -  Miller at  Eling Tide Mill


For Part 1 please click here. Part 1


Once the tour was complete Terry wanted to show me one of his favourite parts of the building, one of the central beams that ran the length of the building, I believe there were twelve of them in all, 3 on each floor and each without a single split or splice and 50 feet long. He admired the craftsmanship involved in creating such a piece, and Terry is a member of the Timber Framers Guild so he knows a thing or two about wood.

After finishing up inside the mill I was taken by Marti to have a look around at the externals and check out their dam and mill pond which I must say is a breath taking sight that no camera can do justice. Their mill pond is 2 acres which is a bit smaller than Eling's but they are also backed up with 9 miles of the scenic Greenville Creek. Bear’s mill has 3 turbines, two to power the French burr stones within the mill building and a third which is built into the dam about 200 metres upstream from the mill, this third turbine powers all of the electrical systems and lighting functions within the mill. This extract pulled from their website states the water, “turns a 150 year old Leffel vertical turbine, a drive shaft and a differential from an old Chevy truck, a pulley system and two 3kW DC servo motors / generators. The turbine itself with a seven foot head of water has the capability of delivering 15kW of power” Now I’m not going to pretend to understand the amounts of power that this creates but to me it was satisfying to know that the four storey historic building is being powered through green energy.

Marti was very pleased to tell me that they also have about 35 acres of land and are looking to start up a wood working course no doubt utilising Terry’s passion and expertise to help. Whilst outside I asked about the different types of animals that they had; fish, ducks, ground hogs, deer and butterflies but unfortunately no bears, it transpires that the mill was named after the owner Gabriel Baer. I was happy to report our wide range of different birds (gulls, cormorants, ducks, egrets, oyster catchers, swans and kingfishers), fish and crabs.


I was very jealous that this French burr stone looks like it has considerably more life left in it than mine at Eling

I completely lost track of time and spent the next 2 hours with Marti sat in the mills decking area which overlooks the tailrace. She told me about the different colours of corn that they have just started producing and how restaurants were enjoying producing different coloured ‘chips’ with them. They were proud that they have a local supplier for their materials which they mill, yellow cornmeal, rye and spelt as well as whole wheat which was a lot more familiar to me. I asked how much they produced but was stumped when they used ‘pounds’ instead of kilograms, curse the metric and imperial debate, why can’t we all just agree? Their website is very clear and well laid out with a link to their shop which lists everything that they currently have available. They also ship internationally, so if you’re looking for something different give them a shot.  Once I had finished drawing pictures of my mill pond and trying to explain spring and neap tides to Marti, I delved back into the mill to take some more photographs.


I would like to give a big thank you to the team at Bear’s Mill for making me feel so welcome and taking the time to make it such an enjoyable visit and going above and beyond what they needed to do. Keep up with the good work guys and hopefully see you again soon.


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