Edinburg, VA: Restoring the Mill
In 2011, residents of more than 50% of the cities, towns and villages in the U.S. cast their votes in
In 2011, residents of more than 50% of the cities, towns and villages in the U.S. cast their votes in the inaugural Reader’s Digest We Hear You America campaign. The top 20 vote-getting towns received grants that allowed them to kick off (or complete) projects to make their communities even better places to live. This is one of those towns.
Since 2000, the town of Edinburg has been working to make its Edinburg Mill, built in 1848, a true community centerpiece. Town leaders knew that they needed to get the word out about this historic site, and decided that restoring the signs promoting the mill along the highway would do just that.
Receiving $10,000 from last year’s We Hear You America campaign helped ignite the fundraising. The grant “gave us the seed money and prompted other folks to donate,” said Daniel Harshman, the town’s mayor. After the campaign ended, people started chipping in their own cash, bringing thousands of dollars to the project. The town hopes to have all the funds in place in the coming months.
In spite of the struggling economy, Harshman explained there was a new burst of generosity in the community. “We’re a small town but people step right up and do what needs to be done.” The Campaign helped keep interest in the restoration from flagging. “For a project that takes so long, there is enthusiasm at the beginning and then you need to get them going again,” Harshman said, “and Reader’s Digest did just that.”