Historic Bears Mill


In 1999, complete management of Bear’s Mill was transferred to a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization called The Friends of Bear’s Mill, Inc.  Formed by Terry and Julie Clark, the Friends of Bear’s Mill was a way to ensure the Mill and its history would be protected and remain open to the public for generations to come.



In 2013, Bear’s Mill and surrounding property was purchased by The Friends through funding from a Clean Ohio Fund grant administered by the Ohio Public Works Commission.  Additional funds were provided by the Darke County Soil and Water District in return for a conservation easement guaranteeing the property would remain undeveloped and environmentally preserved.



Further support was also provided by previous Mill owners Terry and Julie Clark.  The Friends of Bear’s Mill are responsible for management, fiscal responsibility, operations, as well as maintenance of the 35 acres of woodlands, dams and levees on the Mill property.

Friends of Bears Mill

Board Members & Staff


Kim Rudnick ~ Chair

Levi Smith ~ Vice Chair

Delores Sleppy ~ Secretary 
Gordon Smith ~ Treasurer
Lin Roberts

Gretchen Davis

Eileen Schulze

Ethan Tauscher
Carl DeSantis

Lin Roberts


Steffanie Baker ~ Retail Clerk

Merri Niekamp ~ Office Manager

Terry Clark ~ Master Miller & Maintenance

Sophie Nieport ~ Darke County Parks

Tom Hammaker ~ Darke County Parks



Proceeds derived from sales in the Mill Shop and Gallery + individual contributions from visitors, community members and regional businesses provide the vital support of the preservation and maintenance needs of the Mill and the surrounding 35 acres of property.


Your donation will help keep the Mill, the waterway and property available to everyone for generations to come and allow the Mill to continue to be a living piece of agricultural history.

If you support our mission and would like to be a ‘Friend’ of Bear’s Mill, you may become a member by making a tax-deductible (consult your accountant) donation at one of the levels listed below

Donate through our convenient PayPal button below...

We appreciate your support of Bear's Mill

$1000+  Gabriel Baer Legacy

$500  The Miller Partner

$250 Millrace Steward

$100 Mill Patron

$50  Turbine

$30  Cornmeal