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Vandals deliver blow to historic roller mill

South Boston News
Originally built in 1912, the mill operated for three-quarters of a century before closing in 1986.
SoVaNow.com / July 02, 2014
The historic roller mill on East Third Street in downtown Chase City was hit by vandals Sunday night. Eleven windows were broken by rocks that appeared to have been thrown from the street below. Owner Harry Click reported the incident to Chase City Police Department officer Swanson Younger.

Currently, the police have no suspects.

Click said this is not the first time his building has been hit by vandals. However, it has been a couple years since the last incident. He said he is worried that these incidents of vandalism could endanger his chance of getting the building listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places.

Originally built in 1912, the mill operated for three-quarters of a century before closing in 1986. Recently, it was named to Preservation Virginia’s list of most endangered sites.

The mill is described by Preservation Virginia as a rare surviving example of an early 20th-century commercial/industrial building with all of its functional interior elements intact, including: millstones, chutes, sifters, presses, and engines. For three quarters of a century, the mill played a key role in the life of Chase City, stimulating the local economy by providing agricultural milling services and employment. The main section of the mill is a timber-frame construction with a three-story east-end gable of brick painted with the words “The Souht (sic) Side Roller Mills” and “Wide Awake Flour.” The mill, which is not located in a designated historic district, was in use until 1986 and is zoned industrial.

Since purchase the property several years ago, Click has been working to restore the building. If it is determined eligible for the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places and subsequently listed, could then the site would be eligible for historic rehabilitation tax credits.

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