21 Sep 1876
17 Sep 1876, Sun • Page 1
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
16 Sep 1876, Sat • Page 4
EPILOGUE– So what happened to the Almonte Furniture Company?
- The government ignored the company
Recently, Marjorie Campbell, a resident of Almonte, donated a painting of the Campbell Woolen Mill to the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum. The picture was painted at the request of Marjorie Campbell by Mr. D. R. Faire in 1979 from a photograph taken in the 1920’s. It was a gift for her husband Donald M. Campbell whose father had owned the mill. The picture had, hung in Mrs. Campbell’s living room for many hears, but she felt the picture and the story of the Campbell Mill should be hanging in the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum as a reminder of when Almonte was the center of Woolen manufacturing in Canada.
The Campbell Mill was located at ‘the south-east end of Water Street, next to the C.P.R. tracks, where Brian Drynan now has his automotive repair shop. It was the only local mill that was located away from the Mississippi River, the source of power for all early mills. It was one of the earliest mills driven by steam power.
By Gerry Wheatley Campbell Wollen Co.
The building originally was built in 1872 as the Almonte Furniture Company by Messrs. Kirby and Bennett and was known locally as the KirBen Building. The factory operated for many years, then had financial problems. In 1887, James H. Wylie, who owned other mills in Almonte, installed a one set flannel mill in the building, added two more sets over the next two years, and called it the Elmdale Flannel Mills. In March, 1919, Mr. P. J. Campbell of the Blakeney Woolen Company purchased the Kir-Ben building and started moving the looms and other machinery from Blakeney to the KirBen building to produce flannels.
In March, 1928, a Saturday fire heavily damaged the building. The Almonte Gazette. reported that “spontaneous combustion in the dryer room’ was suspected as the cause. “An alarm was I given and the fire brigade did effective work and succeeded in confining the blaze to one department.” The damage amounted to $12,000. Later in 1928, the picture of the Kir-Ben building was printed in The Almonte Gazette with the following report below it.
“Campbell Woolen Company’s Mill at Almonte which was destroyed by fire in a Monday midnight conflagration. The loss is estimated by P. J. Campbell at $50,000, partially covered by insurance.” The Campbell Woolen Mill ceased operations, the remainder of the building was demolished i and the Company was closed a few years later.
I wondered whether there was any evidence left of the old Campbell Mill so I drove down Water Street to Brian Drynan’s Garage. Brian had found considerable evidence of the Campbell Mill while building his garage, house and other structures. The railroad siding to the Mill is still in place. He found stone foundation walls; a six inch cast iron pipe from the river to the Mill, thought to bring water from the river; and two large concrete slabs, one now serving as a base for propane tanks. And bricks’ lots of bricks. Brian remembers the bricks had markings on them and was told they were made in Almonte. He will try to find some of the old bricks for the museum. I am not aware of a brick factory in Almonte.
and I found this today– Linda S
The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
01 Mar 1913, Sat •