Strickland’s Mill Supplies

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Strickland’s Mill Supplies

Is it possible to mix business with pleasure?

“That kind of thing involves a tremendous amount of advertising and that would involve giving me a severe headache,” he says. But he sells over the counter to anyone who happens into his small, jumbled office. Since he only delivers to commercial establishments, many people who make their own bread drive miles to buy his whole-wheat flour pure, aged to perfection for baking, and without added preservatives.

Strickland’s mill supplies more than 200 farmers in the area, and as well as feeds and flour, those who stop in at the mill usually enjoy a cup of coffee and a chat with the owner. They are a jovial, robust lot, and much banter passes over the counter. Flour is made to rigid specifications, and in his tiny laboratory off the main office, Strickland’s superintendent, Ernie Armstrong, tests samples for their bread-making qualities. He has an extensive library on milling in his new house built upstream from the mill on a pretty stretch of the river. After flour, his greatest passion is fishing, and he wouldn’t go back to the city again for all the tea in China.

“When I finish work here, I’m home in five minutes and then it’s over the bank and into the boat for me,” he says. FIVE o’clock rush hour holds no terrcr for Strickland, either. His house, set in a broad garden, is just three block from the mill. Almonte has many splendid examples of the magnificent stone work left by the Rideau Canal stone-cutters in this area over a century ago and some of the most beautiful private tulip gardens in Canada. The river splits and branches as it rushes through the town, and some of the older houses have private waterfalls in their gardens. The miller’s house has huge rooms, lofty ceilings and so many bedrooms that even with the entire top floor closed off, each of the four Strickland children has a large bedroom with room to spare for even the most space-consuming toys and hobbies.

As well as being a grand house for a party, it is the best house in town for hide-and-seek, according to seven-year-old Susie Strickland. The Stricklands golf in summer, curl in winter and play bridge enthusiastically in both. Entertaining goes on constantly in this town of 3,000 600 of whom have come within the last five years, many of them city people revolting against split-level, suburban living. Last December, the Stricklands thought they would have a party. They found out they had only one free night between Dec. 15 and New Year’s Eve, and in the end they scrapped the whole thing. The potential guest list totalled 87. Mill workers, farmers, civil servants and professional people give a diversity to the population of Almonte unusual in a place of its size. Many retired people also live there. “I’m sure glad I didn’t have to wait that long,” says the miller.

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
08 Aug 1959, Sat  •  Page 51

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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