Roanoke, VA

Big Spring Mill will close after 172 years

Cheryl E Preston

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Big Spring Mill to closeRoanoke Times

Big Spring Mill will close for good

A local landmark in Southwest Virginia will soon close permanently. Big Spring Mill is a small independent company that began as a grist mill in Eliston, Virginia in 1950. According to the company release they are shutting down in August after more than a century and a half of being in the feed and flour-milling business The Elliston Landmark is located on the Roanoke River and produces baking flour under the label Virginia’s Best. This includes biscuit mix corn meal, self-rising flour, and seasoned flour, and they also produce livestock feed.

This brand is in almost every local grocery store and convenience store and some local residents probably had no idea these products were being manufactured so close to home. Bob Long the current owner gave no reason why the factory is closing when he issued the brief news release. He acknowledged the work of the employees and the loyal customers and added that he would have no further comment until next week.

The mill is located along the Roanoke river’s south fork and was originally owned and operated by Joseph Pepper. Big Spring Mill was purchased in 1935 by Fleetwood Long who was assisted by his son, Woodrow Long. Woodrow's sons, David, and Bill Long were the third generation to manufacture the products and the company is now being run by fourth-generation family members Bob Long, Amy Long Ebel, and her husband Mark Ebel. The closing of the mill will be a blow to the local area well as the customers who have been purchasing the baking products and livestock feed for many years.

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I write, about breaking news, and current events. I wrote a newspaper column from 1997 to 2007 and have written for various online platforms since 2012 including Yahoo Contributor Network, Hubpages, and Vocal Media.

Roanoke, VA
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