When I was growing up Bedford, VA was a little sleepy redneck town that had seen better days. The agricultural way of life that had formed it since the 1700’s had given way to a few factories most men worked their farms in the evening and worked in the factories during the day.
As we took the bus to school up 122 everyday we would pass the old abandoned Big Otter Mill (formerly known as Forbes Mill) building. At the time, it was rather grey from many years of sitting alone in the sun and rain. Boards were missing. Windows long ago broken out. Weeds and wild trees growing in and out of it.
Built originally around 1919 the mill had ground flour and corn for locals.
Now, thanks to the Big Otter Mill Foundation, the building and grounds are is being restored as a historical and educational building. Donations are always appreciated. Their aim is to restore the building to its original working condition, and use it for teaching others about the history of agriculture and food in our community.
I was so inspired by the change in the mill, that I have created two wall hangings based on aerial photos of the property that were taken by Mr. Thomas Fields of Northsky Dromes.
I love the fact that others think our history and what has made us unique is worth saving! And I am inspired to create art that says this is part of who I am as well!