What Went Wrong with the Code Mill Fire in Innisville?

Standard
What Went Wrong with the Code Mill Fire in Innisville?

Loggers-at-Innisville-644x336.jpg

Loggers at Innisville: Photo submitted to the Perth Courier 1984 by Mr. Crampton–Perth Remembered

Innisville had at one time two mills built by Abraham Code, George Code, and Thomas A. Code. Abraham Code who started his woollen mill in Innisville,  and was one of several entrepreneurs active in eastern Ontario’s woollen industry. He moved to Perth in 1876 and by 1883 he had acquired the old Kilpatrick tannery at Herriott and Wilson.

AbrahamCode23

                                                               Abraham Code

November 10 1872

Another fire in Ennisville (Innisville)

There is saying that “ misfortunes never come singly” and that is exemplified in the case of Mr. Code. It is only the other day since his grist mill was burned. Last Friday his woollen factory at Ennisville took fire and a good deal of damage was done.

At one time I believe no hopes were entertained of saving the place, and the machinery even was being removed. While on the subject of fires I cannot refrain from making a few observations which I think are called for.

Whenever a fire breaks out you are sure to see a few prominent individuals—men who ought to know better—rushing from one engine to the other frantically telling the parties in charge, what they ought to do. Sometimes half a dozen are buzzing round the captain of an engine, shouting as many different orders and thoroughly confusing every one. Now the best thing for these men to do is to hold their tongues and work on the brakes.

They know nothing about the working of an engine, and the proper parties to give orders are the Captains and other officers. In their proper places they might really be of some use but as every one could at the fire not one of these officious people ever put a finger to the brakes, although, frequently hands were scarce and the men thoroughly tired out. However, I suppose if any of them do see my preaching they will forget it ail by the next fire, so I will proceed to another subject.

historicalnotes

In an interesting pen picture of the many thriving woolen mills which dotted the Mississippi River from Innisville to Almonte in the 70’s and 80’s, J. Sid Annable draws attention to the fact that one of the pioneer industries was a blanket mill which operated above the bridge at Innisville by the late Abraham Code father of the late T.A. Code of Perth.

The initial purpose of this pioneer venture was the manufacture all wool blankets for the river travelers and shanty men on the upper Mississippi and its tributaries.  It was the largest industry in that district in the 60’s and 70’s and provided employment for many of the inhabitants.

Abraham Code was one of the leading figures in Lanark County.  He represented the county in the Ontario legislature.  After severing his connection with the industry some time in the 80’s he was appointed Inspector of Weights and Measures with headquarters in Ottawa.  He was a son of the late John Code who came to Canada from Ireland in the early ‘20’s of the last century and was one of the pioneer settlers of the Innisville district.

The Innisville blanket mill was destroyed by a fire in 1879 and in the following year Mr. Code moved to Carleton Place and commenced operation on the first steam mill on the Mississippi River at that point.  This old mill was constructed of stone and was five stories high, 70 feet wide, 100 feet long.  All of the looms and in fact all of the machinery was brought from Scotland as well as 20 families who were brought over to work in the mills and operate the complicated machinery.

Two years later, Mr. Code was obliged to sever his connection with the mill and it was taken over by W.W. Wylie of Almonte who continued the operation for many years.  Mr. Wylie took an active interest in the civic and military life of Carleton Place.  He was made captain and later colonel of the 41st Battalion of Volunteers and under him Capt. Joe McKay, Lt. Brown and Sgt. Jack Annable served.

imgcode.jpg

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal30 Jun 1937, WedPage 5

Jane Moody

I am a great granddaughter of “A. B.” (Abe) Code owner of the woollen mill in Innisville that burned. I just want to point out a small correction in your very valuable history of the area. I believe “A. B.” was the cousin (and contemporary) of T. A. Code of Perth. T. A.’s father was William and my great grandfather’s father was John Code. These two brothers came with two other brothers from the Fitzwilliam Estate in Co Wicklow in Ireland. Alice Munro is a notable descendent of one of the other brothers. Thank you for writing this very valuable history which fills in so many gaps

Abraham Code

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

4 responses »

  1. I am a great granddaughter of “A. B.” (Abe) Code owner of the woollen mill in Innisville that burned. I just want to point out a small correction in your very valuable history of the area. I believe “A. B.” was the cousin (and contemporary) of T. A. Code of Perth. T. A.’s father was William and my great grandfather’s father was John Code. These two brothers came with two other brothers from the Fitzwilliam Estate in Co Wicklow in Ireland. Alice Munro is a notable descendent of one of the other brothers. Thank you for writing this very valuable history which fills in so many gaps.

    Like

      • I, too, am enjoying your articles about the Code family. My great-uncle, Major Hugh Cameron Ferguson, married Gladys Lillian Code, daughter of John Code. Hugh and Lillian met during WWI. They married in 1917 in England. Hugh was my grandmother’s brother. I have been sharing your articles with other family members. Can you tell me which Code was connected to Code’s Mill in Perth? Thanks.

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s