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Big Otter Mill (Forbes Mill)

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Forbes Mill
c. 1920. VA 122, approximately 3 miles north of Bedford

Big Otter is a rare example of a mill with a bellcast mansard roof and pedimented dormers. A mill existed at this site in the late eighteenth century, but after its nineteenth-century replacement was washed away in a flood in 1917, its then owner, Reed Forbes, built this one. The frame, two-and-a-half-story mill on a raised basement has a metal waterwheel, four roller mills, and one stone mill. Its small, one-story wing served as an office and workshop for the miller until the operation closed in the 1940s. In almost all of its four stories, the equipment is intact.

Writing Credits

Anne Carter Lee


What's Nearby


Anne Carter Lee, "Big Otter Mill (Forbes Mill)", [Bedford, Virginia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

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