In the year 1897 the Perth Woollen Company was formed by the Honourable George Haggart, George D. Ross of Montreal and myself. This business was conducted with deficits for two years, under the direction of Thomas Hope as manager.
About the year 1900 Mr. George Reid of Toronto suggested we should change into felt. I acted on this, started to the United States and visited several felt mills. This resulted in us procuring a crude plant. With many trials and tribulations this was a case where experience would have been valuable. I continued with bull dog tenacity for 12 years without salary. Finally the light of day began to show. Mr. Wellington Douglas, the present manager was familiar with the felt game during those years. The mill was bonused for $11,000 in 1893. We bought it, agreeing to carry out the bonus conditions. Since (previous to the great war) we added more up-to-day machinery, later a salary and a dividend to follow. There has been a gradual growth and the business has developed to be a factor in the industrial life of Perth.
About the year 1885 the Dr. Rugg residence was for sale. The late John A. McLaren owned the lot adjoining, and was dickering to buy the Rugg property– never dreaming of a competitor. I called on Edward Elliott, Barrister, and he suggested that I should buy. I knew I had to act quickly so I tendered $50 there and then to close the sale. The purchase price was $2750. A couple of days later Mr. McLaren met the Doctor. The question came up, and upon being informed that Mr. Code had brought the property Mr. McLaren immediately went to Mr. Elliott and offered him $300 more than I had paid.
After J. A. Stewart acquired the McLaren Estate I bought the lot adjoining, and then the adjoining lot, bringing my holdings up to the Graham property. During 1905 and 1906 I completed the house in which I now reside in order to carry out a promise I had made. Sad to relate Mrs. Code did not live to enjoy it. During her illness the junkyard on the Graham property, the hammering etc. became irritating, not only to a sick person, but to the occupants of the house generally. So I wired to Evans of Winnipeg for his price for his interest– which was $3,500. I immediately accepted, and it was in my possession for a week before the sale became public– much to the dismay of the tenants. Nobody seemed to want the other half interest, so I bought it from the Graham Estate at the same price I had paid Evans.
When the tenants vacated I conceived the idea of building the Code block– a doubtful venture– but it has done much to improve the locality and to make it a desirable locality in which to live. This building was constructed in 1910 and 1911.
John Ferrier owned the next corner on the same side of the street, and frequently came asking me to buy. I advised him to keep the place. I told him I thought he was foolish to sell, but if decided I would buy it. I did take it at $6750, and once again I embarked on another doubtful venture! The building was an eyesore. I put up the building as it stands today, known as the *Kininvie Apartments– the same as my residence– in honour of Mrs. Code, who claimed kindred with Kininvie– the House of Leslie in Scotland.
Note from Author
At Ottawa, November 12,1890, I was married to Jennie Leslie, at what is now known as Laurier House. Our wedded life terminated May 8th, 1908. To my wife I owe much for good advice and uplift. Unfortunately, she was not spared to enjoy our new home. But, I have every good reason to be proud of my family that resulted in the union, viz., Dorothy Code and Allan Leslie.
Photo of their marriage certificate from the journal- Photo Linda Seccaspina
Cheryl added--Hi Linda, Kinivie is an impressive home. There is a tale that Mr. Code had pipes running from the mill to the house to heat it. Fact or fiction, that I don’t know. I remember the layers of felt laid out in Code Park to dry in the sun. It wasn’t that long ago as I can still see the sight ;). There has to be photos as it was a common occurrence in summer.
Next- Retrospect of the Innisville Patents and Inserts
50 Herriott – “Kininvie” was built of reddish sandstone in 1906 for textile
manufacture Thomas A. Code. This grand Edwardian residence is said to have
been heated by steam from the factory across the street by a tunnel from Code’s Mill that carried steam to heat the house. Unlike earlier “walled garden” homes, the Code mansion gloried in its open expansive lawns and garden overlooking the Tay River. Perth Walking Tour
Note—When the post office opened in 1851 a clerical error resulted in the community being called Innisville. The error was never corrected.
The first industrial process on the site was operated by the Kilpatrick family beginning in 1842 and established as a tannery shortly thereafter. In 1882 a new owner, Thomas Alfred Code, established Codes Custom Wool Mill with a range of processes, including: carding, spinning, fulling, shearing, pressing, and coloring of yarns. In 1896, its name was changed to the Tay Knitting Mill, and it produced yarn, hosiery, socks, gloves, sporting-goods, sweaters, and mitts. Another change came in 1899, when a felt-making process was introduced and the mill was renamed Code Felt. The company continued to operate until the closing of the factory in 1998.
51 Herriott – The Code Mill is actually a collage of five different buildings dating from 1842. T.A. Code moved to Perth in 1876, and bought this property by 1883. Code spent 60 years in business in Perth. The business started with a contract to supply the North West Mounted Police with socks, and continued for many years manufacturing felt for both industrial and commercial uses.
Code Felt Co today– Click here..
In the 1883, Mr. T. A. Code established Codes Custom Wool Mill with a range of processes, including: carding, spinning, fulling, shearing, pressing, and coloring of yarns. In 1896, its name was changed to the Tay Knitting Mill, and it produced yarn, hosiery, socks, gloves, sporting-goods, sweaters, and mitts. Another change came in 1899, when a felt-making process was introduced and the mill was renamed Code Felt. The company continued to operate until the closing of the factory in 1998. The following year, John Stewart began a major restoration and introduced new uses for this landmark. This impressive limestone complex with its central atrium now has an interesting mix of commercial tenants.-Perth Remembered
How did I get this?
I purchased this journal online from a dealer in California. I made every attempt to make sure the journal came back to its rightful location. Every day I will be putting up a new page so its contents are available to anyone. It is a well worn journal full of glued letters and newspaper clippings which I think belonged to Code’s son Allan at one point. Yes there is lots of genealogy in this journal. I am going to document it page by page. This journal was all handwritten and hand typed. Read-More Local Treasure Than Pirate’s Booty on Treasure Island
How did it get into the United States? The book definitely belonged to Allan Code and he died in Ohio in 1969.
Allan Leslie Code
1896–1969 — BIRTH 27 MAR 1896 • Ontario—DEATH JUN 1969 • Mentor, Lake, Ohio, USA
Andrew Haydon–He was the author of Pioneer Sketches of The District of Bathurst (Lanark and Renfrew Counties, Ontario) (The Ryerson Press, 1925) and Mackenzie King and the Liberal Party (Allen, 1930).
Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)