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The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 5- Code Family– “Hawthorn Mill was a Failure, and the Same Bad Luck has Followed for at Least 50 Years”

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 5- Code Family– “Hawthorn Mill was a Failure, and the Same Bad Luck has Followed for at Least 50 Years”



Hawthorn Mill was spelled without an “e” by Thomas Code etc. so from now on I will spell it without an ‘e’. Letterhead sent to us by Joyce MacKenzie and is now at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum.

About the year 1818 John Code-– a cabinet maker by trade on the county Wexford, Ireland– became enthused over the inducement offered emigrants to select Canada with its free lands and all the glowing prospects pictured by the agents of the time, for a new home. Little did he know the troubles and trials that beset the way. With his small family at the time he sailed for Canada, and in Montreal the same year. He got employment in his trade in this city, and remained for about 2 years. During this time my father was born, early in 1820.

In this year my grandfather and his family joined a movement to the Lanark Settlement. Arriving in Perth he took up land in what was the Boyd Settlement. On reaching Innisville they crossed the river in a log canoe and journeyed about three miles further on to the land selected. After indifferent progress for a time, he bought a lot on the south bank of the Mississippi at the village of  Innisville. This afforded him a double chance, as he could ply his craft aside from farming. Being a peaceful law abiding, and industrious person of more than average ability, and conformable to local conditions ( I remember him before he passed away in 1860), after getting settled all went well in the primitive way.

The old log building stands yet with its open fireplace, swinging crane and fire dogs. It would puzzle the architect of the present day to figure out how such a large family could find lodging quarters in such limits, as the family numbered nine or eleven in all: Ann, John, George,Ellen, William, Richard, Thomas, Abraham and Elizabeth.

John Code was the farmer of the family. He and two sisters remained on the same farm or homestead during their lives. All of them remained unmarried.

Richard, after serving an apprenticeship carding, later started a carding mill in Perth at Haggart’s Mills, and continued up to about year 1870. After a few years of the livery business he left for Winnipeg, leaving his family consisting of: Thomas Mark, Richard, John A., and four daughters in Perth.

T. M. died many years after in the West. Richard had been in the employ of the Felt Mill for many years, and was still on the job in 1929.

Richard Senior came home and worked for the writer as a carder in 1876 at Locks Bridge Mill. He again drifted West, and passed out of the picture.

Abraham Code known as A.B. was apprenticed to James Rosamond of Carleton Place as a carder. The place was then known as Morphy’s Falls. Later James Rosamond moved to Shipton’s  Falls, afterwards known as Almonte. Innisville was then known as Freers Falls and Ferguson’s Falls was registered as Milford. It took the present name from one, Captain Ferguson.

On leaving Carleton Place Abraham and George Code formed a partnership know as  A & G Code doing custom work for a time. Later James Ennis Senior put up a building on the south side of the river and rented to them. They installed woollen machinery for the making of coarse cloth, mostly etoff. This had some reputation in the early days, but later the fancy of the people changed and etoff was little heard  of.

A.B. as he was called got ambitious and became a member of the County Council. Later in 1867 he ran against McNairn Shaw for the Ontario seat, and was defeated. On the death of Mr. Shaw which occurred in 1869, A.B. again contested the seat against John G. Haggart and John Doran, Liberal and succeeded. Again in 1871 he defeated John G. Haggart and the Honourable Malcolm Cameron, and in 1875 John Doran: but was defeated at the Conservative Convention in 1879 by William Lees. A. B. was a fair speaker while campaigning- but sometimes stretching the subject too far he was seldom heard in the House of Assembly. His successes in elections was to some extent due to a party A.B. had favoured at a critical time. He got a large Catholic vote notwithstanding he was an out and out Orangeman.

About this time he purchased the Ferguson Fall’s mill property, then owned by Robert Blair. This was an an unfortunate venture as the mills were burned down. The saw logs  were spiked owing– it is said– to the dam drowning land in the upper stretches of the river.

In the early 1870s A.B. built was is now known as the Hawthorn Mill in Carleton Place. The writer helped to draw some of the machinery from Frenchies Mills in New Edinburgh to Carleton Place. This took about two days a trip. R. J. Dial of Innisville and I would leave, load and return to Bells Corners the first day; start out for Carleton Place, unload and reach Innisville, or home that evening. Owing to the changed fancy of the people and conditions of the trade, however, this venture was a failure, and the same bad luck has followed this mill for at least 50 years (written in 1929). I notice the machinery is being sold at present time, which winds up a history of failure. Never was political ambition more destructive to business, destroying business application and initiative necessary to forestall the coming changes from years to years.

A. B. then got a position as Inspector of Weights and Measures in Ottawa. He bemoaned his changed conditions, and passed out a few years later, leaving a large family : five boys, who are all dead, and four girls still living. A. B. and Elizabeth were twins and the latter married Jeremiah Dial.


Tomorrow Thomas Code and William Code



Photo- Perth Remembered

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..


Screenshot 2018-03-08 at 14.jpg

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.

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.jpgAndrew Haydon- see bio below–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).


Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)




The Original Thomas Alfred Code and Andrew Haydon Letters – —Part 1

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 2– Perth Mill

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 3– Genealogy Ennis

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 4a – Innisville the Beginning

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 4b – Innisville — Coopers and “Whipping the Cat” 1860-1870

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 4c – Innisville — Henry York and Johnny Code

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 4d – Innisville — “How We did Hoe it Down”!

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 4e – Innisville — ‘Neighbours Furnished one Another with Fire’

When Newspapers Gossiped–David Kerr Innisville

Kerr or Ennis? More about the Innisville Scoundrel

What Went Wrong with the Code Mill Fire in Innisville?

What Went Wrong with the Code Mill Fire in Innisville?

What Went Wrong with the Code Mill Fire in Innisville?


Loggers at Innisville: Photo submitted to the Perth Courier 1984 by Mr. Crampton–Perth Remembered

Innisville had at one time two mills built by Abraham Code, George Code, and Thomas A. Code. Abraham Code who started his woollen mill in Innisville,  and was one of several entrepreneurs active in eastern Ontario’s woollen industry. He moved to Perth in 1876 and by 1883 he had acquired the old Kilpatrick tannery at Herriott and Wilson.


                                                               Abraham Code

November 10 1872

Another fire in Ennisville (Innisville)

There is saying that “ misfortunes never come singly” and that is exemplified in the case of Mr. Code. It is only the other day since his grist mill was burned. Last Friday his woollen factory at Ennisville took fire and a good deal of damage was done.

At one time I believe no hopes were entertained of saving the place, and the machinery even was being removed. While on the subject of fires I cannot refrain from making a few observations which I think are called for.

Whenever a fire breaks out you are sure to see a few prominent individuals—men who ought to know better—rushing from one engine to the other frantically telling the parties in charge, what they ought to do. Sometimes half a dozen are buzzing round the captain of an engine, shouting as many different orders and thoroughly confusing every one. Now the best thing for these men to do is to hold their tongues and work on the brakes.

They know nothing about the working of an engine, and the proper parties to give orders are the Captains and other officers. In their proper places they might really be of some use but as every one could at the fire not one of these officious people ever put a finger to the brakes, although, frequently hands were scarce and the men thoroughly tired out. However, I suppose if any of them do see my preaching they will forget it ail by the next fire, so I will proceed to another subject.


In an interesting pen picture of the many thriving woolen mills which dotted the Mississippi River from Innisville to Almonte in the 70’s and 80’s, J. Sid Annable draws attention to the fact that one of the pioneer industries was a blanket mill which operated above the bridge at Innisville by the late Abraham Code father of the late T.A. Code of Perth.

The initial purpose of this pioneer venture was the manufacture all wool blankets for the river travelers and shanty men on the upper Mississippi and its tributaries.  It was the largest industry in that district in the 60’s and 70’s and provided employment for many of the inhabitants.

Abraham Code was one of the leading figures in Lanark County.  He represented the county in the Ontario legislature.  After severing his connection with the industry some time in the 80’s he was appointed Inspector of Weights and Measures with headquarters in Ottawa.  He was a son of the late John Code who came to Canada from Ireland in the early ‘20’s of the last century and was one of the pioneer settlers of the Innisville district.

The Innisville blanket mill was destroyed by a fire in 1879 and in the following year Mr. Code moved to Carleton Place and commenced operation on the first steam mill on the Mississippi River at that point.  This old mill was constructed of stone and was five stories high, 70 feet wide, 100 feet long.  All of the looms and in fact all of the machinery was brought from Scotland as well as 20 families who were brought over to work in the mills and operate the complicated machinery.

Two years later, Mr. Code was obliged to sever his connection with the mill and it was taken over by W.W. Wylie of Almonte who continued the operation for many years.  Mr. Wylie took an active interest in the civic and military life of Carleton Place.  He was made captain and later colonel of the 41st Battalion of Volunteers and under him Capt. Joe McKay, Lt. Brown and Sgt. Jack Annable served.


Clipped from The Ottawa Journal30 Jun 1937, WedPage 5

Jane Moody

I am a great granddaughter of “A. B.” (Abe) Code owner of the woollen mill in Innisville that burned. I just want to point out a small correction in your very valuable history of the area. I believe “A. B.” was the cousin (and contemporary) of T. A. Code of Perth. T. A.’s father was William and my great grandfather’s father was John Code. These two brothers came with two other brothers from the Fitzwilliam Estate in Co Wicklow in Ireland. Alice Munro is a notable descendent of one of the other brothers. Thank you for writing this very valuable history which fills in so many gaps

Abraham Code