This is the second and final entry about Bear’s Mill in Greenville, Ohio–an 18th century mill that is still in operation for tourists today.
The mill is set against manicured lawn and tree topped hills surrounding both sides of Greenville Creek which wanders along the property. The water still powers the mill the machinery. Two damns of varied size create a two mile lake where water is channeled to the millrace. Two water gates help the stream water to be diverted into the race to power the turbines.
Jesse Tillman and John Townsend bought the mill for $8,000 in 1862. They ran it only for a few years though as it was feared Confederate soldiers would invade the state and burn the mill. The mill had many owners over the years, M.R. Cromer being the most notable as there are still colorful stories told about Mr. Cromer who owned the mill until his death in 1947 when Charles Andrews bought the property.
Andrews was a rare environmentalist in his day. He fought with the city of Greenville for years over the effluent from the Greenville treatment plant contaminating his creek and disrupting the creek flow that powered the mill and heated his home. Eventually it led to an Ohio Supreme Court case. It ended up being a landmark case in Ohio in which a city was held responsible for pollution.
Andrews was also an early adopter of the health food craze and owned a successful business shipping health food products all over the world.