By the early 1990s all of Appleton’s mills had closed. The sawmill and gristmill had disappeared by the early 20th century while the woolen mill was last to close in 1992. Originally the mills were a driving force in the development of the village. The gristmill and sawmill provided food, building materials, and employment for the local residents. The population grew around the mills adding a blacksmiths shop, a general store, a cobbler and many more small businesses.
With the woolen mill the economy grew even stronger. Two churches, a school, a community hall and several more businesses were built to support the local residents.
Although the mills have faded away, their legacy and heritage are still alive in Appleton. A tour through the streets of Appleton shows the amazing houses, buildings, and ruins all interconnected and all stemming from the original Mills of Appleton.– North Lanark Museum
Best seen from across the river is a wonderful stone home is built of ornamental verge board gables porches and shutters. John Clarke who lived here was a breeder of chinchillas for over 25 years in the 70s and they bought the house from Alvin McKay in 1951 to house the chinchilla tranquility.
The Buchanan McCann families occupied it after Robert Baird and prior to the McKays. However, it impossible to follow the complete lineage of the home as the Ramsay Township records were eaten by hungry and quite possible literary mice.
Former Chinchilla farm operated by John Clarke–North Lanark Regional Museum
Mary Ann Gagnon–Edith Clark was in my mother’s (Mildred Dawson) bridge group….they would go to each other’s houses to play. My mother is now a resident of Granite Ridge in Stittsville. Edith’s niece brought Edith to visit my mum about two years ago and at that time she was still living in her house in Appleton
A Reader’s comment.. Our family bought the house in CP in 1925 (I think) from the Bank of Commerce for $2,400 and thought they would never be out of debt Therefore your story is more accurate that John and Edith Clark bought it in 1951… I guess as a child I just assumed they had bought it from my grandfather when they moved to town….my grandfather died in the spring of 1949 so I never got to know him I wonder if someone knows when Edith passed or moved and sold to ?. I always loved that house….
Edith Clarke is alive and well as my neighbour living still smart and well with her nephew in the Appleton stone home and still playing bridge when she finds smart enough partners to play ( not a Bridge player myself) She is 98 and looks and acts like a women less than 80! A kindred spirit who loves animals and our dear countryside. Linda Dryer