Historical Foundation to Restore Old Big Otter Mill

Reporter: Lauren Compton | Videographer: Jamon Haskins

Bedford Co., VA -{}For years the water wheel at Big Otter Mill sat rusted and unattended, but now the Big Otter Mill Historical Foundation is restoring it.

The Big Otter Mill sits off Route 122 near a flowing creek and the peaks of Bedford County. The historic landmark draws on lookers, and the scenery makes it hard for many to leave.

"We have our chairs in the back of the car we're headed to the peaks I'm tempted to just take the chairs out and park them in front of the stream," said Thurman Davis, a visitor.

For the first time in years the water wheel at the Big Otter Mill is back.

"This is something the public has been waiting to see," said Becky Wuergler, president of the Big Otter Mill Foundation.

The foundation was able to bring in this big wheel thanks to some generous donations."

" Such as Lynchburg Crane which put that wheel in for no charge. We depend on donations, we depend on a lot of hard work," said Wuergler.

It cost about $30,000 to restore the wheel. Wuergler says the goal is to get the wheel moving again and to show how the mill was once used.

"Most young people and a lot of the older people have no idea what our ancestors had to do to survive." We're trying to preserve memories, traditions," said Wuergler.

As a former history teacher, Thurman Davis is glad to see the mill coming back to life..

" This stands as real testimony to the wonderful mills that stood throughout Virginia," said Davis.

You can check out the wheel and get a peek inside this weekend at the Harvest Festival.

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