By Sally Voth
With the completion of restoration work on the 165-year-old Edinburg Mill, the Edinburg Heritage Foundation Inc. is looking to finish paying off its bills.
To that end, the foundation is embarking on a $296,500 fundraising campaign.
It cost about $1.35 million to buy and restore the mill, which was built in 1848 by George Grandstaff.
Edinburg Mayor-Town Manager Dan Harshman has been an active participant in its restoration.
"It was an operating mill until the end of 1978, and it was purchased and converted to a restaurant that opened in the fall of 1979 and operated under five different owners and finally closed its doors in July of 1998," Harshman said.
Within months, the Edinburg Heritage Foundation had begun fundraising, he said.
The town of Edinburg owns the mill, Harshman said. He said nothing would happen if the nearly $300,000 is not raised.
"They're just trying to get this out of the way, and they figured it was time to start raising [the funds]."
The mill, which has a 15,000-square-foot museum covering three stories, has been open seven days a week since June, according to a news release from the foundation.
The museum has exhibits on area roads, the river, railways, household items and furniture, the Civilian Conservation Corps camp at Camp Roosevelt, the Civil War, fashion and more.
Heritage Foundation President Clyde Beachy said the foundation has been selling $250 pavers for outside the mill.
"We have a good number there that have been purchased by individuals and some of the businesses," he said.
The foundation also holds two annual fundraisers, an art show and the Symphony of Stitches Symposium, according to Beachy.
He said the campaign to pay off the roughly $300,000 remainder is for loans.
Rental of the St. Paul Heritage Center, which is owned by the foundation, and of the mill's banquet rooms raises money that goes to the town, Beachy said.
"We've had a good number of both private and corporate activities there in the new restaurant area," he said. "We've not yet got a person in to establish and operate a restaurant. That's what we plan on giving us the funds to cover our operating expenses, is the rental for the restaurant spaces."
Tax-deductible donations can be sent to E.H.F., P.O. Box 336, Edinburg, Va. 22824, or dropped off at the mill.
For more information on memberships or pavers, visit www.edinburgmill.com.
Contact staff writer Sally Voth at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or firstname.lastname@example.org