Baird Baird and Baird

Baird Baird and Baird
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
02 Aug 1900, Thu  •  Page 8

photo from photo from the top of Victoria Mills

In Almonte there was a 200 acre Crown reserve and south of it were the farms of Robert Baird and William Baird, Lanark society settlers of 1821. John Baird’s land, including Farm Street and Brea Street (now Brae), was surveyed in 1861. John Baird kept a general store, ran a flour mill ( Mill of Kintail) and sent supplies to the lumbermen. Mr. Baird was known as a very exact and honest man when he was in Bennie’s Mills. When he weighed goods they were weighed to the fraction of an ounce. He never gave more nor less. Mr. Baird later went to Almonte and ran a woolen mill there. The old Baird’s Mill site was on the river, adjacent to the former Victoria Woollen Mill. (the old Peterson’s Ice Cream Plant)

Messrs. Baird & Co. (who like the rest of the brother manufacturers were staunch adherents to protection principles) showed his black broadcloth to those who visited the mills in 1877. The texture and finish was equal to any of those manufactured in England. The Bairds gave the credit to their superintendent Joseph Boothroyd who had come to Almonte from Huddersfield, England.

Carding machine, 19th century - Stock Image - C022/9413 - Science ...

The Baird mill at that time employed 40 hands, men and women. The ground floor was occupied by the finishing room, dye house and scouring room complete with excellent machinery. The first floor was the carding room complete with one american carding machine and the other a Holroyd machine from England. On the floor above was a spinning jack, spooling room, and ten looms all busy and turning out fabric quickly.

Our Hattersley looms – McLean & Co.

The looms were all attended by women and girls and it was wonderful to watch their quick fingers in the operation of weaving. The women and girls were immaculate, almost similar to a Quakerness, and visitors always said the factory girls of Almonte were way more impressive than their sisterhood in Manchester. They also spoke proper English and that’s what they didn’t do in Lancashire and Yorkshire in the old country.

There was also another feature in Baird’s Mill and that was the precaution for fire. There was a large pump in the basement with a big hose leading to all parts of the factory. The mill although compact was something to behold. Long may they weave!

The East side of Mill Street from the Post office down (the old Post office) was another story. Along the riverbank many crowded to the river for water and waterpower. Properties constantly changed hands and not one is now in existence with the exception of the “Yorkshire” building which was, in 1867, but three stories high. Fortunes were won and lost there over power rights, but that is another story. No doubt a book could be written about that stubborn Scottish family, the Baird Brothers, the owners of one of these powers (above mentioned) who fought for their rights without compromise, not only against the Rosamond interest but also against the Elliotts – fought till their money was exhausted.


Baird , William , Almonte , Ontario , Canada– had a patent on a spinning and twisting machine 1886 and on

Cotton-spinning machinery - Wikipedia
Ottawa Daily Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
04 Dec 1879, Thu  •  Page 4

Nearby were William and John Baird’s flour mill, Greville Toshack’s carding mill and Stephen Young’s barley mill, all on the Indian River ; and on the Mississippi the similar industries of Blakeney.  The Baird mill, restored as a century old structure in 1930 by Dr. R. Tait McKenzie, sculptor, surgeon and native son of the manse, is now well known as the Mill of Kintail, repository of examples of his works and local historical exhibits.  It was described by its owners in 1860 as:

Back in the 1870s Almonte’s woollen mills were: No. 1, on the island, conducted by B. and W. Rosamond; No. 2, on Mill street, by Elliott, Routh and Sheard; Gilbert Cannon’s mill, down on the bay, Just below the hill; John Baird and Company, on Mill street near McLean’s grist mill; the Anchor Knitting Mill, on the island, and William Thoburn’s mill, on Little Bridge street. In later years Judge Jamie-son’s son married Miss Annie Thoburn and became proprietor of the mill.  Rosamond’s No. 1 mill was the largest manufacturing plant in the town; it employed about 300 hands.

John McIntosh and Allan McDonald and Samuel Reid operated the carding mill from 1847 – 1854 on Lot 19 Mill St Almonte. From 1854 – 1865 it was operated as a custom carding and woolen mill by Almonte woolen Manufactory under McIntosh and Reid, and after 1858, under McIntosh alone. John McIntosh built his second mill on Lot 7 Little Bridge St, Almonte in 1862 and operated the Almonte Woolen Manufactory in it until 1865. From 1865 – 1867 McIntosh was superintendent of the mill at Sly’s Rapids under the proprietorship of D McIntosh. McIntosh declared bankruptcy in 1867. In 1871 John McIntosh then became the superintendent of the woolen mill of John Baird and Company, Lots 20 and 21 Mill St Almonte.

In 1871 John Baird and Company leased another woolen mill on Lot 20 Mill St, Almonte which he subsequently purchased it in 1879. He then leased the mill to James Wylie in 1881 and sold it to him in 1897.

Gilbert Cannon (former employee of John McIntosh from 1854 – 1865 at the McIntosh mill on Lot 19, Mills St, Almonte) and Thomas Watchorn operated the custom carding and woolen mill on Lot 21 Mill St in Almonte from 1865 to 1867 under the proprietorship of John Baird, when Watchorn left for Lanark and Cannon continued the operation alone until 1870. In 1869 he purchased Lot F at the foot of Mill St Almonte where he built a new woolen mill in 1870. In 1871 he sold his equipment and leased the mill to William Wylie until 1877. Gilbert Cannon also operated a woolen mill in Arnprior (dates?)

Thomas Watchorn was a cloth finisher and dyer in Almonte employed by the Rosamonds at their mill on Lot 21 Mill St Almonte. The he and Gilbert Cannon operated the custom carding and woolen mill on Lot 21 Mill St in Almonte from 1865 to 1867 under the proprietorship of John Baird, when Watchorn left for Lanark . Thomas Watchorn and Boyd Caldwell established the Clyde Woolen Mill at Lot 2 George St in Lanark 1867. In 1875 Watchorn leased the woolen mill in Merrickville in partnership with his brother Robert.–

Clayton had its origin little more than a year later than Almonte when Edward Bellamy, who recently had come to Grenville County from Vermont, obtained the water privilege of the falls on the Indian River there and opened a sawmill and grist mill to serve a section of the new townships.  Among the other communities of Ramsay township, Blakeney, once the location of several  manufacturing concerns, came next in time of origin as Snedden’s Mills.  Not far from Snedden’s the small hamlet of Bennie’s Corners appeared on the scene of the eighteen thirties, adjoined on the Indian River by Toshack’s carding mill and Baird’s grist mill.  The Baird mill, now known as the Mill of Kintail, has been preserved by a private owner for public historical uses and as a residence.

“Woodside Mills, consisting of a Flour Mill with two runs of burr stones, a superior Smut Machine and an Oatmeal Mill with two runs of Stones, one of which is a Burr.  The Mill is three and a half stories high and most substantially built.  There are also on the premises a kiln capable of drying from 120 to 200 bushels of oats at a time, a frame House for a Miller, a Blacksmith Shop with tools complete, two Stone Buildings and outbuildings, with Stabling for eleven horses.”

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
23 Apr 1955, Sat  •  Page 18

6622-94 Robert BAIRD, 38, merchant, Ramsay, Pilot Mound Manitoba, s/o John BAIRD & Christena BRYSON, married Mary Ann WILSON, 28, Ottawa, Appleton, d/o George WILSON & Mary Ann McKEE, witn: George T. WILSON of Appleton & Maggie R. BAIRD of al, 16 Aug 1894 at Ramsay006522-94 (Lanark Co) John S. BAIRD, 25, farmer, Fitzroy, Fitzroy s/o John & June BAIRD married Ida E. GROVES, 19, Fitzroy, Fitzroy d/o William & Eliza GROVES wtn: Spurgeon BAIRD of Montreal & Minnie GROVES of Fitzroy, 25 July 1894 at Pakenham
6626-94 Alexander CAVERS, 29, farmer, Canada, Beckwith, s/o Thomas & Margaret C., married Catherine Elizabeth HISLOP, 24, Canada, Carleton Place, d/o Neil & Isabella, witn: Robert BAIRD of Ramsay & Maggie HISLOP of Smith Falls, 31 Jan 1894 at Beckwith

006573-94 Allan MORRIS, 22, lumber business, Middleville, same, s/o Peter & Agnes, married Minnie McFARLANE, 21, Lanark, same, d/o Robert & Bella, witn: Charles BAIRD of Lanark & Katie MORRIS of Middleville on Oct. 24, 1894 at Dalhousie

6534-94 Neil MUNRO, 35, farmer, Appleton, Ramsay, s/o John & Sarah, married Sarah BROWN, 32, widow, Griffith, Carleton Place, d/o William & Lizzie ADAMS, witn: Robert BAIRD of Appleton & Sarah HATTON of Ottawa, 28 Feb 1894 at Carleton Place

6582-94 James REID, 19, laborer, Middleville, Clyde Forks, s/o Matthew REID & Mary BAIRD, married Susannah CAMERON, 19, Folger Station, same, d/o Hugh CAMERON & Susannah McQUILTY, witn: David REID of Clyde Forks & Victor Ann CAMERON of Folger Station, 7 May 1894 at Clyde Fork

The Invincible Margaret Baird of Lanark

I Now have Part of Joey Cram — In Memory of Sandy Baird

The Bairds of Bennie’s Corners

John Baird the Carriage Maker

The Leaky Chancery Dam –The Forgie’s of Almonte Part 2

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.

2 responses »

  1. I am related my uncle was John Baird my grandmother raised the sheep and her son John my uncle made into wool small world


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