Tag Archives: mill

Hodgins Bros. Ltd Thoburn Mill 1950s

Hodgins Bros. Ltd Thoburn Mill 1950s

September 1958

Hodgins Bros. Ltd., manufacturers of heating equipment and other similar accessories, began operations in their plant here on Monday. They purchased the for­mer Thoburn Woollen Mills building some months ago with the intention of removing certain of their activities from Ottawa where they have been established for years.

One of the brothers, William, was in town for the last few days and he stated that the Company did not expect to employ more than six or seven men for the balance of the year. For a start they are manufacturing tanks, here, mostly for oil and as will be seen from an advertisement elsewhere in this issue of the paper are looking for another electric arc welder.

For the last few months the Company has had one Almonte man on the payroll training him for the job and he will draw his first pay here, tomorrow. It is the intention of the Company to train men for their technical work which is quite particular, as everyone knows, in the case of heating apparatus.

To people walking along Little Bridge Street these last few days it was pleasant to , hear the sound of work going on again in the long idle plant. It was also cheerful to see the windows lighted again and the lurid reflection of the welding machines for several hours in the evening.

Also read-The Sad Saga of The Almonte Furniture Factory


More Tales from the Thoburn Mill

Is Samuel Shaard Lying in the “Cement” of the Thoburn Mill?

Tears From the Old Gears of the Mills

Bits and Pieces of William Thoburn and the House on Union Street

The Sad Life of Mr. William G. Bates

The Sad Life of Mr. William G. Bates
The Lanark Era
Lanark, Ontario, Canada
03 Nov 1915, Wed 

June 3, 1914

When William George Bates was born in 1843 in Ontario, his father, George, was 40 and his mother, Sarah, was 26. He married Elizabeth (Eliza) Jane McCreary on July 6, 1871, in Perth, Ontario. They had ten children in 23 years. He died in 1921 in Timiskaming, Ontario, having lived a long life of 78 years, and was buried in Lanark, Ontario.

read more here..

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
23 Oct 1913, Thu  •  Page 1

Son who drowned

When James McCreary Bates was born in 1877 in Lanark, Ontario, his father, William, was 34 and his mother, Elizabeth, was 28. He had seven brothers and two sisters. He died on October 22, 1913, in Carleton Place, Ontario, at the age of 36, and was buried in his hometown.


Worked in the Alaskan Boundary Party (Federal Government) in Northern Yukon as a Surveyor.

1913 • Yuko

read more here…

Son Charles and Roy

When Charles W. Bates was born in September 1873 in Lanark, Ontario, his father, William, was 30 and his mother, Elizabeth, was 24. He married Agnes Wilkie Panton Bates on August 10, 1904, in Perth, Ontario. He then married Sarah Evangeline McDiarmid in 1959 in Carleton Place, Ontario. He died on October 6, 1963, in Carleton Place, Ontario, at the age of 90, and was buried in his hometown.

Charles 1902 and Roy Bates on Lanark Village Baseball Team

Charles Bates Residence Carleton Place
Carleton Place, Ontario
Known locally as the Scottish Mansion (but the Bates’ are Irish).

more info click here..CLICK

The Lanark Era

Lanark, Ontario, Canada19 May 1909, Wed  •  Page 1

CLIPPED FROMThe Lanark EraLanark, Ontario, Canada14 May 1913, Wed  •  Page 1

Bates & Innes Financial Report 1955

David Warren — Bates & Innes Accident — Warren Family

Murder or Accident — Bates & Innes Flume

The Saga of Bates and Innes

Roy Bates and His Dog Named Taffy— ahh Paddy

Do You Remember? Memories of the Pengor Penguin

So How Much Time Do You Get for Stealing Wool?

Rosemary McNaughton- Little Red Door Arrives at Bates and Innes

The Disappearance of Frank Bates

Foley’s Mill —– Water Street Almonte

Foley’s Mill  —– Water Street Almonte
The City of Foley traces its roots back to the 19th century lumber barons and the four Foley brothers who settled in Benton County in the late 1800s. The brothers originally came from Lanark in eastern Ontario, Canada. Their Irish immigrant family made Lanark their home during the second administration of President Andrew Jackson during the turbulent 1830s. CLICK here

1945 Almonte Gazette

Some time ago The Gazette published the gist of a letter received from E. T. Foley of Pasadena, Cal., asking about the location of a mill his uncle owned in the vicinity of Almonte and wondering if a picture of it could be procured. Elsewhere in this issue is a letter from one of our out-of-town subscribers dealing with the matter at some length. Dr. J. F. Dunn and Wm, Young also gave information in regard to the mill mentioned by Mr. Foley which coincides with what appears in the letter. Dr. Dunn states that the Foley home was the first ,on the left past Hall’s Mills.

The original Hall, who operated the mill there, was married to a Foley and the house where they lived is now occupied by Mr, Cameron. Mrs. Shane of Pakenham was another Foley. The brothers, Timothy and Michael, uncles of E. T. Foley of Pasadena, after selling out the sawmill here to the Caldwell interests, went to the United States and became wealthy as railroad contractors. Those who recall the old sawmill think it extremely unlikely that any photograph of it will be in existence. It stood approximately on the site where Dennis Galvin’s portable mill was located up to a few years ago. In those day’s the art of photography was not what it is now and a building had to be of great public importance to merit attention of that kind

This has been received from one of The Gazette’s subscribers who prefers to remain anonymous:

The Editor, Almonte Gazette, Almonte, Ont.

Dear Sir: A recent issue of The Gazette makes reference to a letter received from Mr. Edward T. Foley of Pasadena, California, asking information about a saw mill which was owned by his uncle in Almonte many years. I am not acquainted with Mr. Foley but I presume he is a nephew of one of members of the original firm of Messrs. T. & T. Foley of Almonte who later became the firm of Foley Brothers well known lumbermen and railway contractors of St. Paul, Minn.

The Foleys had left Almonte long before my time but I had often heard of them. I believe there were five brothers, Timothy, Thomas, Michael, John and George (Tim, Tom, Mike, John and George). There were also several sisters, one of whom was married to a Mr. Hall after whom Hall’s Mills was named. There was a mill at that place but I do not think it is the one Mr. Foley has in mind. In my boyhood days there was a saw mill at the far end of Water Street just beyond the N.L.A.S. fair grounds. At that time the mill was owned by one of the Caldwells of Lanark Village but I do not think he was the original owner. I think I would be correct in saying that the mill had been built and operated for a while by the Foleys but afterwards disposed of to Mr. Caldwell.

The Foley home was on W ater S treet not so very far from the mill. Their’s was a corner property directly across from the fair grounds. The house, a frame building of rather ornate design, faced on a street the name of which I cannot re ­ call, but it extended from the exhibition grounds towards the C.P. R. tracks. On the Water Street side there was a high closed fence but it was not a crude or ugly affair, it was constructed of dressed lumber and was of neat design. There was no open gate but a closed door, apparently designed to ensure privacy. The door was not flush wi|th the fence but rather inset somewhat like a casement. Different times when passing that way I noticed what appeared like lettering deeply penciled in black on the frame of the casement. Upon closer inspection in plain capital letters: the name T. & T. Foley was disclosed. This, I believe, answers Mr. Foley’s inquiry. I am quite sure the mill on Water Street is the one owned by his uncle, and the house was the one the family occupied.

When I remember this house first, it was the residence of the late Mr. Robert Pollock. It is has beenmany years since I passed that way but the last time I did so, it was still in existence. As for the mill, I am not in a position to say. It was not large but was well built and unless purposely destroyed, some trace of it will surely remain. To digress a little, I might say that at the mill there were three piers built in the river just above the mill and extending from pier to pier were booms of squared timber, the idea of course, being to harbour the logs to be sawed at the mill and to prevent them from floating down the river.

Among the younger fry, the piers were spoken of as first, second and third and were great favorite places for swimming and diving. I recall one experience when, in diving I struck my head with such force on a sunken log, that I was nearly stunned. I consider myself lucky that I was not drowned. But to return to the original topic, I think that my recollections are fairly accurate and I hope may be of interest. It is quite evident that Mr. Foley would like to know something of the early beginning of the Foley Bros, and properly so. They were among the many Canadians who won fame and fortune in the U.S.A.

Yours very truly, First, Second and Third Piers

Author’s Note-

I had written about Henry Lang’s Barn a few years ago and remembered something about the Caldwell Sawmill. Sure enough this is what happened to it.

Almonte Gazette July 22 1898—The old sawmill opposite “island” (save the mark !) at  the N.L.A.S. grounds has been torn down and towed across the river to the farm of  Mr. and Mrs. Lang, where the the bulk of the timbers, etc., will be used in the erection of a barn to replace the one destroyed by fire.

Almonte Gazette September 2, 1898–That barn of Mr. Henry Lang’s will be an interesting one from the fact that its material has been mostly furnished by two  landmarks Mr Caldwell’s old sawmill and Mr. Cannnon’s shingle mill on the shore of the bay below the town—both, as well as the timber slides, having become relics and reminders to the present generation that in bygone years Almonte was a live lumbering centre. Read- Henry Lang and His Lanark County Magic Barn?

History of Foley - Railroad

Also read

The City of Foley traces its roots back to the 19th century lumber barons and the four Foley brothers who settled in Benton County in the late 1800s. The brothers originally came from Lanark in eastern Ontario, Canada. Their Irish immigrant family made Lanark their home during the second administration of President Andrew Jackson during the turbulent 1830s. CLICK here


The Sad Tale of the Foley Family–Foley, Harper, Sly, Bowes & Elliott

Foley House

Foley Almonte — Genealogy

Foley Mountain Conservation Area History Information

The Mills of Carleton Place -Victoria Woolen Factory to the Hawthorn

The Mills of Carleton Place  -Victoria Woolen Factory to the Hawthorn

Original Newspaper ad from the files of the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

Victoria Woolen Factory (1830s)
  • The mill stood on river bank near James St. The Rosamond House (1838) which is still standing is at 37 Bell St.
  • James Rosamond operated a carding mill from 1838-1846 and then a custom carding and woolen mill from 1846 – 1857.

In 1825, in the village of Fenagh in county Leitrim in Ireland, a gang of Catholic youths attacked the Rosamond home. The Rosamonds were staunch Protestants. James, aged 20 (born 1805) and his brother Edward, aged 15, attempted to protect their mother. A shot was fired by Edward and a youth was dead. The boys fled to Canada. James went to Merrickville where he worked for James Merrick as a weaver. Edward, still fearing arrest, worked his way eventually to Memphis, Tennessee.

          James Rosamond worked for James Merrick for five years and he came to Carleton Place in 1825. We know that by 1830 he was operating a sawmill, an oat mill and a carding and a fulling mill in Carleton Place on one side of the Mississippi River and a lumber mill on the other side of the river.

          In 1831 he married Margaret Wilson who was born in Scotland. James and Margaret were to have five children, all born in Carleton Place: Bennett, Mary Ann (known as Marion, who later married Andrew Bell, their son was James McIntosh Bell), Rosalind, William and James.

Mary Peden 1920s Carleton Place- Photo property Linda Seccaspina– Rosamond House in the background on Bell Street.The Peden Family- Genealogy– Peden Saunders Sadler

          In the 1830’s, James built a very fine stone home on Bell Street in Carleton Place, close to St. James’ Church where he was a church warden for fifteen years. It was a time of great expansion. No one worried about pension funds, or the government looking after your, that was your responsibility. James burst upon the scene and started many businesses, all of which seem to have been successful.

          James, in what was to prove to be a landmark decision, decided to turn his fulling and carding mill into a woolen factory. In 1864 he advertised that he had purchased spinning and weaving machinery which he had bought from firms in Toronto, Ogdensburgh and Watertown, New York. By 1846 he was in operation and was selling “Plain Cloth either grey or dyed, Cashmere, Satinett, Flannel, all wool or cotton and wool, Blankets, etc.” James had started with three narrow looms, one spindle jack of one hundred and twenty spindles and one bolting roll. He expanded as best as he could in Carleton Place but the limiting factor was the amount of water power to make everything run. He ran his operation in Carleton Place for another ten years, but by 1857 his water rights had lapsed and he erected a stone mill in Almonte on the site of the Ramsay Woolen Cloth Manufacturing Company which had been destroyed by fire. Alex Huighes

read-The Exact Reason Rosamond Left Carleton Place

Rosamonds – The One Carleton Place Let Get Away

McDonald and Brown Carding and Fulling Mill and Woolen Factory
  • Vicinity of 71 Mill St (Mill St and Judson St).
  • This mill was located on Lot 65 Section D of the town survey. Allan McDonald operated a carding mill a at this location from 1846 – 1864, except for the interval 1861 – 1863 when he leased it to William Paisley.
  • Under the management of Paisley, it was known as the Wolverine Carding Mills. Then from 1864 it was again run as a custom carding mill under Allan McDonald and then in succession by a partnership of John McDonald and John Brown.
  • A new mill was built on 1868. On the retirement of John McDonald in 1901, it continued in operation by John Brown.

The Condo Ephemera of Boulton Brown Mill

Down by the Old Mill Stream — Carleton Place
The Brown Flour Mill Stories
One of the Many Hauntings of Mill Street
Coleman Family History–Just for Your Records
Jumpin’ Around in Carleton Place — Local Urban Acrobats

 Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum Photo

McArthur Woolen Mill (1871)
  • 105 Mill St, W 1/2 Lot 15, Conc 12 Beckwith Township.
  • The Archibald McArthur and Company Woolen Mill was built in 1871 and was operated by the company until 1876. The woolen mill, equipped to operate by waterpower of the lower falls, was later leased and reopened by William H. Wylie in 1877 when the country’s business depression became less severe. Wylie operated the mill until 1881.
  • It was then sold to John Gillies in 1882 and operated until 1900 under the firm name of J Gillies, Son and Company ; John and James Gillies; The John Gillies Estate Company Ltd .
  • In 1900 it was sold to the Canada Woolen Mills Ltd who went bankrupt in 1904. The reason was stated to be loss of Canadian markets to British exporters of tweeds and worsteds.
  • It was later sold to Bates and Innes in 1907. Bates and Innes Co. Limited equipped the former woolen mill as a knitting mill. In 1909 , the Bates & Innes knitting mill, after making waterpower improvements, began running night and day with 150 employees.
  • It was and still operating in 1911 as a knitting mill.

Eye Opening Conditions of the Carleton Place Mills– also update to Cardy Miller Story

The River Dance of the McArthur Mill in Carleton Place

Rosemary McNaughton- Little Red Door Arrives at Bates and Innes

Hawthorn Woolen Mill (1875)
  • 115 Emily St, NE 1/2, Lot 13, Conc 13, Beckwith Township.
  • Abraham Code operated a woolen mill from 1875 – 1878.
  • It sat idle from 1878 – 1880.
  • It was bought in 1880 by James Gillies of Carleton Place from its original owner Abraham Code at a reported price of $16,400.
  • It was then sold to William Wylie and William Fraser Latimer (subsequent firm name Hawthorne Woolen Mills) in 1881.
  • In 1889 it was sold to Hawthorne Woolen Company Limited which ran until 1899 when it was sold to Canada Woollen Mills Limited in 1900. In 1903 the Hawthorne (and Gillies) woolen mills – recently working on overtime hours with 192 employees, after six years of improvements under the ownership of Canada Woolen Mills Limited – were closed. The reason was stated to be loss of Canadian markets to British exporters of tweeds and worsteds. The company went into bankruptcy in 1904.
  • It was finally sold in 1907 to the Waterloo Knitting Company. In 1909 the Hawthorne knitting mill was closed by reason of financial difficulties, and its operating company was reorganized as the Carleton Knitting Co. Ltd’


Hawthorn Mill–The Early Years– 1874 -1930

The McArthurs of Carleton Place

The Revolutions of the Hawthorn Mill
The Rencraft Fire Dept Photo Brings Back a Familiar Name
The Case of the Bell that Disappeared
An Invitation to the Old Hawthorn Mill

Ring Those Bells in Carleton Place– Wylie’s Woolen Mill


Unexpected Almonte
November 21, 2019  · 

This is a “general view of Almonte textile mills.”
From left to right, the mills include the Almonte Knitting Co., Rosamond Mill No. 2 (left of the tall building), Yorkshire Wool Stock Mill (tall building), J. M. Haskins’ Cataract Grist and Flouring Mills (foreground), and the 1858 timber slide on the right, used for moving timber from the upper level of the Mississippi River to “The Bay”.
Photo from the book, Lanark Legacy, no specific date given for this photo, but would be sometime circa 1863 (when Haskins had a grist mill) #Almonte #MillHeritage

During those years Almonte was known to travelers on the trains as The Woolen Town, because the Rosamond Woolen Company, the Old Red Knitting Company, the Penman Woolen Mill, Campbell’s Woolen Mill, the Yorkshire Wool Stock Mill and Wm. Thoburn’s Woolen Mills all made the flat metallic clacking of the looms as familiar a sound of Almonte as the whistle of the CPR steam locomotive. (from roots.org)



The buildings of the Yorkshire Wool Stock Company on Mill street were gutted in a fire which raged in the early hours of Tuesday morning in 1923. It was the most serious fire which has occurred in Almonte for many years. It had not been the first fire for the mill as it also had a fire in 1919 a few months after opening.The loss is probably about $ 200,0 0 0, partly covered by insurance. It is understood that over $ 100,000 worth of new machinery had been installed during the past fifteen months and further expansion was contemplated The Yorkshire Wool Stock Mill is owned by Julius Cohen.and Joseph with headquarters at Bradford, England, and branches in the United States.

Dr. A. Metcalfe, who lives across the river directly opposite the mill, rang the alarm a t 12.25 a.m. and immediately the fire bell started ringing. In quick time Mr. Hugh Martin and the fire brigade had the engines out, and were assisted by hoses from the adjacent garages and Penmans Limited. The flames were soon burning fiercely and the gravest anxiety prevailed as to the safety of the nearby buildings.

While the favourable elements contribute to this result, the work. of the local fire brigade cannot be too warmly commended. The new gasoline fire engine which the town council had the enterprise to purchase last year did splendid work, while the old steam engine broke down under the strain, Hour after hour  the new engine kept up a steady pressure of 125 pounds, at times forcing water from the river to a height of over 60 feet.

There were twenty-two men employed in the mill. Mr. N. H. Nicholson. is the local manager and Mr. John Blakeley, the mill superintendent.

The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
09 Sep 1919, Tue  •  Page 8– first fire in 1919

The disastrous fire which destroyed the Yorkshire Wool Stock – Mill on Tuesday of last week, was not entirely quenched until Monday morning of this week. During the five days it smouldered, the conflagration broke out anew several times and there was danger with the heavy winds that prevailed at times that the disaster might assume larger proportions than it did. The municipal fire fighting equipment was withdrawn in the morning following the fire. Since that time the quenching of it was left to the Penmans.

Mr. N. H. Nicholson the local manager of the Wool Stock mills says: “We had great difficulty in fighting the fire after the municipal motor pump was taken away, and although several times we asked for protection we did n o t get it, and we had to rely on Penmans for putting out the fire. “Several times the conflagration broke out again*, and  there was grave danger of it spreading. We had finally to go to Penmans for protection and they took care of the subsequent conflagrations. We are grateful to Penmans for their assistance during the fire, particularly to Mr. B. K. Gunn, the manager, and Mr. M. N. Playfair, their engineer. “The town of Almonte is apparently a t the mercy of Penmans. Surely it is the duty of the town to take care of its fires instead of Penmans.”

–Penmans Mill Street– almonte.com

 Today the Gazette asked Mayor Thoburn if he had any statement to make regarding the foregoing and he replied that he might have something  to say later. It is not yet known if the Yorkshire Wool Stock Company will rebuild its property in Almonte, but  there is no doubt it will be a serious loss to the town if it moves elsewhere. It is understood that the company has received offers from many towns of good sites and good privileges to move the plant to these places. If the plant is taken away it will mean loss of work to about thirty people, affecting about one hundred and fifty persons.Mr. Nicholson states at a special meeting of the town council was to be called to consider the matter, but he has not heard that anything has been done. ” It is up to the people of Almonte to consider whether they wish to keep the town alive, by offering reasonable privileges to commercial enterprises to stay in the district, or whether they would rather see Almonte as one of the has beens.”

The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
11 Sep 1923, Tue  •  Page 1

So what happened to the company? A few weeks later this appeared in the Gazette

The property of the Yorkshire Wool Stock Mill which was gutted by fire some weeks ago, has been sold, and the English company which owned it will leave Almonte. The purchasers are a company headed by Mr. P. J. Campbell, of the Campbell Woolen Company. The purchase price h;is not been stated, but the new company is capitalized at 100,000. This is the result of negotiations which have been under way for the past three weeks and only awaited the arrival of the principals of the Yorkshire Wool Stock Mill from England to complete.

Campbell and his business associates will make another change. It is no secret that he had intended to run for Mayor at the coming election. The Gazette asked him about this also, anti his reply was: “I had intended to run for Mayor, but I guess I can do more for the people of Almonte down at the mill than I can as mayor, meanwhile at any rate. I hope we have a good council next year.”

Related reading

Collie Mill Fire Almonte October 1, 1965

The Abandoned Appleton Mill

Almonte Fire 1903

1906 — Business Block is a Smouldering Block of Ruins– More Fires of Almonte

The Almonte Fire– Bridge and Water Street 1903

The Almonte Fire of 1909

The Almonte Fire 1909– Bank Manager Badly Injured

lmonte Fire of Nolan’s and Wylie’s Stable

The Almonte Fire 1955– Almonte United Church

The Almonte Fire– Bridge and Water Street 1903

Miss Eva Denault- Almonte 1911 Fire Heroine

Remember The Almonte Fire Truck Company?

Things About Bill Lowry 1998

Baird Baird and Baird

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

photo from Almonte.com- 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.–https://mvtm.ca/biographies/

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

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 27- John Code and John Ennis

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 27- John Code and John Ennis


Innisville Mills in background ( old bridge)

In 1876 John Code had been out West for a while ( since 1872) and he decided to come back to Innisville for a visit. John Ennis was running the flour and saw mills at that time and decided he didn’t want all the hard work at that time and was trying to interest someone into renting the mills.

Ennis had an employee at that time called Sam Spender and asked John Code if he would consider renting the property with him. Both Spender and Code went into business with each other and rented the Innisville mills for $850 a year for five years. They told Spender they would try it out and would give it up at the end of the year if they did not do well. Even though they did not do too badly John Code got gold fever once again and left to try out the west once again and the partnership ended.


John Code –ancestry.ca

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 23- Code Family–Brother John — John Code Goes West

John Code of Perth and Wild Bill Hickock


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’

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 6- Code Family– “Almost everything of an industry trial character had vanished in Innisville in 1882”

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 7- Code Family–“Thank God, no member of my family has disgraced me or the name!

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 8- Code Family– “We got a wool sack and put him inside and took him to the bridge”

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 9- Code Family –“I had much trouble in saving myself from becoming a first class liar”

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 10- Code Family – I conjured to myself: “You will know me later!” And Peter McLaren did.

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 11- Code Family –“I continued with bull dog tenacity for 12 years without salary”

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 12- Code Family–“Had I the course to go over again I would evade outside responsibilities beyond my share, even if it cost more”

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 13- Code Family–S. S. No. 17 Drummond, Innisville

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 14- Code Family–Letters from Mother Elizabeth Hicks

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 15- Code Family– Love and Runaway Marriages

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 16- Code Family-“The fish would shoot back and forth and at time hit their legs causing them to fall”

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 17- Code Family–“A reaper with the sickle and danced all night”

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 18- Code Family–Family Records from the Family Bible

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 19- Code Family–“Michell was never known to have any money, excepting at or after tax sales”

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 20- Code Family–“Whither Are We Drifting?”– The Perth Public School

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 21- Code Family–Franktown Past and Present Reverend John May

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 22- Code Family–Field Day at “The Hill” (McDonald’s Corners)

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 23- Code Family–Brother John — John Code Goes West

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 24- Code Family– Built for the Love of his Life

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 25- Code Family– A Letter from Mother

The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 26- Mary Rathwell and Eleanor Ennis

John Code of Perth and Wild Bill Hickock

When Newspapers Gossiped–David Kerr Innisville

Kerr or Ennis? More about the Innisville Scoundrel

What Went Wrong with the Code Mill Fire in Innisville?

Philip Strickland Almonte Flour Mill 1959

Philip Strickland Almonte Flour Mill 1959

img - 2020-01-26T142040.177

1959 Almonte

One of the main ambitions of Philip Strickland, owner of the Almonte Flour Mill is to prevent his business from becoming too ambitious. Within reason, of course, he’s as interested as the next man in making a profit But he’s also a firm believer that the margin of diminishing returns in living environment inevitably begins to make itself felt when business expansion is permitted to get out of hand.

“Bread may be the staff of life and all that,” says the miller of Almonte, coining a neat phrase, “but if a man doesn’t know where to draw the line in business, before he knows it he’s just working for his ulcers.” Strickland, who is remarkably ulcer-free, has owned his 100-year-old mill since 1951, and wild horses wouldn’t move him out of the charming town where it’s located.

Through Almonte cascade the waters of the Mississippi river less mighty than the river Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer drifted and dreamed on, but mighty enough to provide the power for Strickland’s mill and two others in Almonte, as well as many more above and below it. It also provides fishing, boating, swimming, skating and something to sketch for his family and the town’s inhabitants.


It would be hard to find a prettier river to settle beside. On summer nights the falls are illuminated, and in the still, deep places below them willow trees droop romantically and fish jump a far cry from anything the average city dweller encounters, short of an expensive two-week vacation. In fact, Strickland believes he has found the good life and the ideal village so many people are seeking – and he firmly intends to keep it.

In 1934, when he graduated in law from the University of Saskatchewan, jobs in law firms were scarce. “Those were the days in the West, he recalls, “when fellows just out of law school had to pay a lawyer for the privilege of being articled to him. And if any of the clients ever paid the lawyer, it would be with something like half a pig or a sack of potatoes. As a result, not one member of my class is practising law today: we all got into something else.”

After a year’s post-graduate course in business administration at Columbia University in New York, Strickland got into the flour business in Chatham, Ont. He stayed there until he joined the army in 1939. He landed with the Third Division on D-Day and by the war’s end had received the D.S.O. and the O.B.E. and had reached the rank of brigadier. He went back to Chatham after the war, and within a few years became president of his company and of two subsidiaries. His mill superintendent was Charlie Merilees, who came from the vicinity of Almonte. Charlie happened to mention one day in a nostalgic mood that Almonte was a wonderful town, with a flour mill that could really go places, since it was, he claimed, the only one between Peterborough and Montreal.

Strickland went to investigate and stayed to invest. He fell in love with the town, its people and its river, and he bought the mill lock, stock and sifters. He also bought himself a fine old stone house. He got Merilees to come down on a temporary basis and bring the mill’s capacity from 600 bags a day up to 1,000. Today, he ships flour to such far-away places as Ceylon, the United Kingdom, and the West Indies. He also supplies four of the six Ottawa bread companies, innumerable small bakeries in other parts of the district, hospitals, including the large mental hospitals in Smiths Falls and Brockville, and Kingston Penitentiary.

Hard wheat from the West comes from Fort William and the Great Lakes down the St. Lawrence to Prescott. Twice a day two trucks make the run to Almonte, hauling the wheat to the mill, where it is dumped, sifted of chaff, stones, corn, etc., cleaned, wet and warmed, and then allowed to sit for 16 hours, when the whole process is repeated. (This mellows it and improves the colour of the flour.) Next it is cracked, rolled, sifted again and again, artificially aged, shaken, vitaminized, sifted some more, and finally bagged.


img - 2020-01-26T144623.492

Of any batch of wheat, only about 70 per cent comes out as flour. The rest includes bran, wheat germ, shorts, middlings, screenings, and farina. Bran, broken wheat and wheat germ are sold with no further processing. Shorts, middlings and screenings go into animal feeds, of which the mill turns out 400 bags a day, while farina is sold over the counter as “breakfast treat.” “Where that name came from I don’t know but that’s what it’s always been known as here so that’s what we call it,” he says. Strickland makes no attempt to place any of his products in stores and sells over the counter to anyone who happens into his small, jumbled office.


img - 2020-01-26T144750.107

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.

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 terror for Strickland, either. His house, set in a broad garden, is just three blocks 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 with 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.



Did a Dust Blast do in the Almonte Flour Mill?

My Summer Job at the Almonte Flour Mill — Tom Edwards

The Story of the Almonte Flour Mill

Minute to Minute– The Almonte Flour Mill Explosion

Explosion at the Almonte Flour Mill–Rob Armstrong‎

With files from The Keeper of the Scrapbooks — Christina ‘tina’  Camelon Buchanan — Thanks to Diane Juby— click here..

Clippings of the Appleton Collie Mill 1940

Clippings of the Appleton Collie Mill 1940

img - 2019-11-09T213822.391

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
15 Mar 1940, Fri  •  Page 14




The Collie Family. Photo by Malak Karsh

North Lanark Regional Museum (2012.79.12.29)
Photographer: Malak Karsh
Donated by Eleanor Wright & Irene Dunn Thompson


Teskey History -


Tales from the Old Mill Appleton Morrow Collie

The Abandoned Appleton Mill

Collie Mill Fire Almonte October 1, 1965

The Story of the Almonte Flour Mill

The Story of the Almonte Flour Mill

img (32).jpeg

1987 Almonte, Ontario

When miller Edgar Salatandre halted the Almonte flour mill’s steel rollers Friday, he closed a 164-year chapter of Ottawa Valley history. Still powered in part by the tumbling waters of the Mississippi River, the Almonte mill was the- last of 18 or so grist, textile and sawmills that once flourished along a 30-kilometre river stretch from Carleton Place to Pakenham.

Its closure marks the end of an era that began in pioneer times and peaked at the turn of the century. The end for one of the town’s oldest industries also meant layoffs for 15 men and office manager Ardeth Brooks, who had worked at the mill for periods ranging from 12 to 36 years. Two men were able to retire on pension while severance payments eased the pre-Christmas crunch for the others, who say they will have to look outside town to find comparable jobs. Salatandre, one of only about 30 millers in Canada, accepted a transfer to Toronto. Ray Ladouceur and his cousin, Don, at the mill 17 and 20 years, respectively, say they will look for jobs in Carleton Place and Arnprior, or Ottawa if necessary. “There is nothing locally,” said Don. Rick Gladman, who had been mill manager from 1978 to 1983 and is now operations manager at a much larger mill in Port Colborne, returned to oversee the shutdown. “This is not a happy time for me,” he said moments before locking the mill door for the last time. “I’m losing a lot of old friends.”



My dad Keith Camelon ask me to submit to these to you They are of the Flour Mill in Almonte where my dad was an employee until it closed in 1987– Sandy Harris

Economics, the great arbiter of change, had dictated that the mill, which once sent its flour throughout the Ottawa Valley and around the world, was no longer a viable operation. The cost of trucking western wheat from grain elevators near Prescott, a limited market, inadequate storage and outdated equipment made it uneconomical to continue operating the mill, said Lewis Rose, chief financial officer for Maple Leaf Mills Ltd, which owns the Almonte mill. The Almonte mill’s production will be replaced by Maple Leaf mills in Montreal and Toronto, where grain boats unload at docks alongside. “There was no significant reason to continue having a mill there,” said Rose. “It didn’t make economic sense.” But to pioneer entrepreneurs, the 30-metre drop of the Mississippi River from Carleton Place to Galetta was a potential source for generating rotary power. The river became the catalyst in turning a wilderness into one of the country’s leading manufacturing centres for quality wool cloth. The reputation of the woolen mills built along its shores became international. Local history buff John Dunn remembers as a youth seeing huge bales of worsted cloth being shipped to, of all places, England, which is famous for its woolens. “I can still remember seeing those bales and reading the labels on them,” said Dunn, who has lived in the town of 4,200 most of his life. Before the textile industry got started, it was the grist mills and sawmills that created the nucleus around which towns such as Almonte were built.

Their place names still dot the countryside Bishops Mills, Oxford Mills and Brewers Mills. Almonte, in fact, was first called Shipman’s Mills, after Loyalist millwright Daniel Ship-man, who built a grist mill and sawmill here in 1823. Grist mills were essential for farmers, who hauled their grain to them for grinding into feed for poultry, hogs and cattle. Sawmills cut the abundant timber into boards and planking for construction. As industry flourished, the early wooden mills were replaced with more formidable stone structures, many of which stand today. The sprawling six-storey Rosamond No. 1 woolen mill . here, built in 1866 for $26,500 and shut down only last year, is now being converted into a condominium. Others have become restaurants, museums, art galleries and homes. The nearby Mill of Kintail, built in 1830, was an abandoned derelict when rescued in 1930 by doctor-sculptor Robert Tait McKenzie. He restored the picturesque stone mill as his summer home and studio. It is now a museum housing many of his artistic works. The fate of the Almonte flour mill is still uncertain. The building is to be sold after Maple Leaf, which acquired it in 1965, removes the milling machinery, precluding possible resurrection by a competitor. The original wood-frame structure was built about 1840 by Shipman. It was probably replaced by a second wooden mill, either in 1866 or 1886 the history books differ here. The second mill was destroyed by fire in 1909. At the time of the fire, the mill was owned by The Wylie Milling Co. Ltd. The name still appears on the large, double-door office safe in the mill office. Wylie rebuilt, erecting a four-storey structure with stone walls more than half a metre thick. The new mill, by this time evolving more toward flour than grist milling, had storage capacity for 12,000 bushels of wheat That is the building now up for sale. The rebuilding was followed by a series of business transactions and foreclosures that led to the mill being acquired in 1931 by William Rueben Pierce. He eventually changed its name to Almonte Flour Mills Ltd., more accurately reflecting the mill’s main enterprise. The mill was acquired in 1951 by Philip Strickland, who previously had operated mills in southwestern Ontario. “The mill was in danger of going out of business when I bought it . . .” Strickland recalled from his retirement home in Orillia. “All its production had been for export, which was falling off. I managed to sell flour locally.” He brought in a new generation steel roller mill and business prospered. Production grew from 27,000 kilograms of flour daily to 90,000 kilograms.

In 1968, the mill was again rocked by an explosion and dust fire, which blew out every window, lifted the roof and heaved the huge, three-storey rear stone wall out about a metre. Edna Clement, who worked at the mill for 45 years until her retirement in October 1986, has vivid memories of the 1968 fire. “I was sitting at my desk making up the pay envelopes when I heard a big bang and I thought the men in the mill were making some unnecessary noise,” she recalls. She left her desk to see mill workers fleeing the fire by sliding down a grain chute. She ran back to her desk, grabbed the satchel containing the pay envelopes, and escaped. There was more excitement in 1974 when a 16-car train derailment rocketed two cars into the side of the mill and five cars into the river behind. “It’s sad, very sad indeed that it’s closing now,” says Strickland, who sold the mill in 1965 to Maple Leaf as part of an arrangement in which he joined the company as a senior executive. “It has a good staff. But the company hasn’t been able to sell all of its production and the land transportation costs have risen to the point where it was difficult to keep it going.”

Dennis Foley 1987


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 and The Tales of Almonte




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 and The Tales of Almonte