“The Gatehouse” Baird’s Store—Township of Ramsay Heritage Driving Tour #1

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“The Gatehouse” Baird’s Store—Township of Ramsay Heritage Driving Tour #1
Township of Ramsay Heritage Driving Tour– created by Almonte/Ramsay L.A.C.A.C —thanks to Julie Odin of the Old Mill Manor — I will be putting them all up one by one as the pamphlet is not available anymore.
Baird's Store 1830

Now known as “The Gatehouse” Baird’s Store was originally built by John Baird as home, store and accommodations for workers at Woodside Mills. Restored by R. Tait MacKenzie in the 1930s. The Verandah is regency style.

Bennie’s Corners was a small village less than two miles from Blakeney.  It was at the junction of the eighth line of Ramsay and the road from Clayton north of the Indian River, on land where James Bennie located in the original settlement of the township in 1821.  The buildings of the hamlet were destroyed in the summer of 1851 by fire.  As rebuilt it had little more than a post office and general store, a few residences, a school and such tradesmen as blacksmiths and shoemakers, and claimed a population of about fifty persons.

To that wilderness of the Indian river came the Toshacks, the Bairds and others by batteaux and canoe.  Baird’s Mill is one of the few remaining landmarks of colonial times, and today it is the Summer-studio residence of two distinguished Canadians—Dr. and Mrs. R. Tait McKenzie. 

The Gatehouse and entrance to the Mill of Kintail in 1932. Photo by Ron Lamb.

Bairds Flour Mill Restored

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:

“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.”

Mill of Kintail Museum. Known originally as Woodside Mills, this imposing stone structure was built by John Baird in the 1830s as a grist mill powered by a series of dams on the Indian River. Abandoned by the Bairds in the 1860s, it was purchased by Robert Tait McKenzie in 1930 and transformed into a summer home and studio.  In 1952 Major and Mrs Leys purchased the mill and founded the museum as a memorial to Robert Tait McKenzie.  In 1972 the property was purchased by the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority.

No photo description available.
Mill of Kintail Conservation Area

A cool old postcard from the early 1930’s drawn by R. Tait McKenzie to direct his family and friends to the Mill of Kintail. Tait and his wife Ethel traveled here from Philadelphia each summer to the old grist mill just outside of Almonte. In 1930 the McKenzie’s purchased the mill and had it restored as their summer home and studio and named it The Mill of Kintail. McKenzie named the mill this in honor of his ancestors that came from the mountain region in Scotland named the Five Sisters of Kintail.

Baird Baird and Baird

The Invincible Margaret Baird of Lanark

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

The Bairds of Bennie’s Corners

Squirrel Massacre in Bennie’s Corners —-Yikes! Yikes! Yikes!

Was Beating Anything from Baird & Riddell of Carleton Place Illegal?

John Baird the Carriage Maker

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.

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