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SVCF working to restore Bush Mill

April 20th, 2012 9:46 am by Staff Report

SVCF working to restore Bush Mill

The initial phases of mill renovation have been funded by grants from the Virginia Department of Transportation and the Virginia Tobacco Commission.

By Sam Bass


Nestled next to the Amos Branch of Cooper Creek, about a mile northwest of the town of Nickelsville in Scott County, Va., sits a 116-year-old local landmark called Bush Mill.


The mill, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is owned by Southwest Virginia Community Foundation (SVCF), a non-profit organization headquartered in Scott County.


"The present mill was completed in 1896," said Bob Etherton, SVCF chairman, "and is located on the same site along the Amos Branch where the original mill had burned to the ground some years earlier."


The initial phases of mill renovation have been funded by grants from the Virginia Department of Transportation and the Virginia Tobacco Commission.


"The renovation of Bush Mill was the long-time goal of the late Jay Dixon, the former SVCF chairman," Etherton said. "Jay’s family owned the mill for two or three generations and it’s our goal to see that his dream to rehabilitate it is realized."


Dixon’s vision was to make the mill functional and operate it as a Nickelsville and Scott County tourist destination and learning center for local students.


"We’re well under way with Phase 1," said Etherton, "which includes the initial engineering studies and renovation of mill infrastructure, including rebuilding the waterwheel."


The Nickelsville Ruritan Club is also an active local supporter of the mill renovation. Every October, the Ruritans sponsor a festival which attracts as many as 2,000 visitors to mill demonstrations and the Ruritan Bush Mill corn meal sale.


Anyone interested in supporting the Bush Mill renovation should contact Bob Etherton at 276-479-1599 or email him at bobe@sctv.coop.

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