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New milestone reached in restoration of Bedford's Big Otter Mill

By Tim Saunders, tsaunders@wdbj7.com
Published On: Oct 03 2013 04:38:37 PM EDT
Updated On: Oct 03 2013 05:31:47 PM EDT

The water wheel on the Big Otter Mill will turn Saturday for the first time in more than 60 years.

BEDFORD, Va. -

Efforts to restore a Bedford County landmark have hit a new milestone.

The water wheel on the Big Otter Mill will turn Saturday for the first time in more than 60 years.

It's a big step for "Friends of the Big Otter Mill," an organization that's spent the last six years trying to renovate the old grist mill.

They want to reopen it as a tourist attraction and educational facility, that will teach children about the history of milling.

"We still have work we have to do on the gears and cogs, and we are applying for grants to finish the work," said Becky Wuergler, president of Friends of the Big Otter Mill.  "We are really hoping that, by this time next year, we will be grinding on the grist mill."

You can see the water wheel in motion during the Charlie Parker Memorial Harvest Festival this Saturday.

Admission is free, but organizers hope to raise $8,000 for the mill's restoration.  Click here to read more about the event.