Bear's Mill

Basic Information

Address: 6450 Arcanum-Bear's Mill Road Greenville, OH 45331 USA
Phone Number: 937-548-5112
Fax Number: 937-547-6044
Director: Merri Niekamp, Outreach Manager

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Bear's Mill
Bear's Mill
Bear's Mill
Bear's Mill

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Additional Information

Days and Hours: Monday-Sunday, 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Bear's Mill is on the National Register of Historic Places and continues the tradition of being a 'working' mill.  The Mill's rich history has attracted vistiors from all over the world.  Built in 1849 by Gabriel Baer, Bear's Mill is one of the few operating water-powered mills in Ohio today.  The site of the Mill, as well as the water rights, were granted to Major George Adams by President James Monroe in 1824.

The hand hewn timber framework was exquisitely done with beams ranging from 12" x 16" and 50' long without a single splice.  The siding was originally American Black Walnut taken from the surrounding woodlands.  The Mill was resided in 2001 with the same species of wood.

The French Buhr millstones are the heart of Bear's Mill.  They were much sought after by old world millers for their abrasive and porous qualities, which resulted in a slow, cool grinding process.  The Mill is filled with antique machinery and the essence of every miller who had the pleasure of 'the run of the mill'.

The Mill is situated amongst a backdrop of mowed lawns and thick woodlands bordering the scenic Greenville Creek, which is the source of power for the Mill.  Paths along the millrace and through the woods provide a place where visitors can find a little peace in a hectic world.

Artists are drawn to the Mill for its antique artistry and idyllic setting, many times using it for inspiration.  Therefore it seems natural to offer an 'Artist Series' of rotating art exhibitions within the gallery in the historic Mill.



Grade Levels:
Group Type: Student, Church, Civic Organization, Scouts
Disabled Access:

Bear's Mill is four stories with no elevator (a person in a wheelchair or unalbe to walk up stairs would not be able to tour the upper levels). Wheelchairs can also access the paths that lead through the woods to the dam.

Program Type:

Educational Tour aimed at introducing students in the area to Bear's Mill, it's colorful history and the nature surrounding it.  This tour will include Ohio history, the engineering involved, an art gallery, wildlife and plants in the area, Native American history and settlement of the area, as well as the present day impact of agriculture in this community.

Guided tours and grinding demonstrations are offered for a fee.  These must be scheduled in advance and offer several options which enhance the visitor experience.  Please visit our website or contact us at the Mill for more details.


Admission/Tickets: Self Guided (no charge); Students $3.00 each group tour
Registration: Call or e-mail to schedule guided tours
Food: Healthy snacks and water can be provided for each guided tour at a cost per student Food can be brought on the premises to be eaten at picnic tables and/or on the grounds.
Length of Visit: Allow at least one hour for a guided tour
Student/Staff Ratio: 20 students/1 Staff
Max. Group Number: 55
Group Requirements: Guided tours are $5 per person with a minimum of $100.00 deposit required. Balance is due on arrival. Guided tours for students are $3 per person (no snacks); if a bottle of water, cookie (homemade with our stoneground meals and flour) and take home sample of cornmeal/flour and recipe are included it is $5 per person. A 30-day advance notice with deposit is required to book a tour.
Return Policy: $50.00 of the $100.00 deposit will be refunded if cancelled at least one week prior to the scheduled tour.
Exhibits: Rotating 'Art at the Mill' art exhibit in the Gallery at the Mill
Freebies: Samples of Bear's Mill stoneground cornmeal or flours w/ recipe can be arranged with scheduled guided tours.
Retail Store: There is a Mill Store on the ground floor of the Mill
Amenities: Bear's Mill offers a regularly maintained port-o-john across the street. Modern restroom facilities are not available.
Videos/DVDs Shown: Not at this time.
Reservations Needed: Group Tours need to be scheduled and confirmed with Bear's Mill staff.

From Greenville:  Take Route 36 East for 5 miles to Arcanum-Bear's Mill Road.  Turn right, Bear's Mill is approximately 1/4 mile down the hill on the right.

From Dayton:  Take-I-75 N. to I-70 W. to Route 49 N.  Follow 49 N. for approximately 15 minutes to the 2nd flashing yellow light (Arcanum-Bear's Mill Road).  Turn right onto Arcanum-Bear's Mill Road.  Follow for approximately 6 miles, Bear's Mill will be down the hill on your left. 


Nearby Attractions: Garst Museum The Bradford Ohio Railroad Museum Eldora Speedway The KitchenAid Experience
Mission Statement:

It is the mission of The Friends of Bear's Mill, Inc. to provide a rich cultural experience and community-oriented events including educational tours, demonstrations and nature walks while preserving the Mill's historical significance and natural beauty.

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Additional Information:

Just a note - when it is cold outside, it is cold in the Mill and when it is hot outside, it is hot in the Mill.  Dress appropriately.