Tag Archives: wool

Rosamond and Victoria Mill — Rosamond Journey from Carleton Place to Almonte

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Rosamond and Victoria Mill — Rosamond Journey from Carleton Place to Almonte

The following article was published in 1954 in: “Textiles,” a leaflet published regularly by the Primary Textiles Institute of Canada, with headquarters in Toronto. When James Rosamond opened a wool cloth mill at Morphy’s Falls in the Ottawa Valley in 1845 it is doubtful whether he realized that he was founding one of Canada’s proudest, and later most unfortunate industries.

Rosamond moved the art of making wool textiles from the settlers’ home into an industrial plant and then for more than 100 years the industry developed with Canada, experiencing normal ups and downs but generally growing in stature. The Ottawa Valley remained the hub of the industry, but it spread out from Nova Scotia to British Columbia and the names of towns like Carleton Place (formerly Morphy’s Falls), Perth, Almonte, Renfrew, Arnprior, Appleton, Hespeler, Brantford) Lachute, Sherbrooke and Huntingdon became synonymous with fine woollens.

Through good times and bad the industry served the country well. Peak of operations was reached in the period 1948-1950. During World War II, mills provided millions of yards of Service fabric and in the immediate post-war era worked hard to meet the heavy accumulated demands they were expected to fill. The future was thought to hold promise. By 1950 the industry had some 16,000 workers in 200 mills and 146 communities and as a traditional Canadian industry was well established in towns where it was often the mainstay of the district. But then the industry became caught in an economic trap which had been set inadvertently fifteen years earlier, but which was only sprung by changing world conditions.

The stage was set in 1935 when the Canadian government, in the course of establishing tariffs on wool cloths entering this country from Great Britain, set a maximum duty to allow easy access to this market for a few English fabrics then considered to be in a “special” category. The blow began to fall about 1950 when increasing costs of raw wool, labour, chemicals machinery, etc., shoved most wool cloths into the bracket previously considered “special.”

The effective rate of the tariff on imports competing with Canadian cloths was greatly reduced and the duty no longer became anywhere near equalizing the wide differential in Canadian and English wages. The Labor Differential with most of their wool cloths entering Canada under a greatly reduced rate of duty English mills have been able during the past three or four years to take full advantage of their lower labour costs and shipments here have been increased in volume to take 40% of the entire market. Every yard of English wool cloth has been taken away from the Canadian industry and its workers.

Twenty eight mills have been closed. More than 6,000 people have lost their jobs and not all those remaining are working full time. Hardest hit have been Canada’s little “woollen” towns—in Renfrew the two mills that were the backbone of the town economy have closed, in Almonte employment dropped from 400 to about 45, at Carleton Place one mill closed and another is operating part-time, and in Huntingdon employment dropped from close to 700 to just over 200.

The story is the same almost everywhere. One of the casualties was James Rosamond’s historic business which was moved from Carleton Place to Almonte in 1857 and had operated there ever since. After being closed all last winter it now has 25 employees.

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

From the Carleton Place Walking Tour click — By the Carleton Place & District Chamber of Commerce

 

The Church Wardens of St. James Church here in 1845 were Catin Willis and James Rosamond, founder of the Rosamond textile manufacturing firm.

James Rosamond of Carleton Place, a shareholder of the short lived Ramsay corporation, then moved his woollen mill operations, the first in Eastern Ontario, from Carleton Place to Almonte as the founding of Almonte’s leading manufacturing enterprise.  He bought the site of the Ramsay Company’s mill and built a four storey stone building, later known as No. 2 Mill, which he opened in 1857.  Before its erection Samuel Reid and John McIntosh opened a small woollen factory in 1854 on the former site of the Boyce fulling mill.  James Rosamond, who lived until 1894, gave the management of his growing business in 1862 to his sons Bennett and William, who doubled its plant capacity and in 1866 admitted George Stephen, Montreal woollen manufacturer, as a partner.  He became Baron Mount Stephen, president of the Bank of Montreal and first president of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company.

The new Rosamond firm of 1866 began operations by buying the Island property of some sixteen acres and building its No. 1 Mill, then one of the finest in Canada.  Bennett Rosamond (1833-1910) was elected president of the Canadian Manufacturers  Association in 1890 and was Conservative Member of Parliament for North Lanark from 1892-1904.  He was president of the Almonte Knitting Company and in 1909 donated the Rosamond Memorial Hospital to the town.  He continued as head of the Rosamond Woollen Company until his death, when he was succeeded by Lieutenant Alex Rosamond (1873-1916).

A number of other woollen mills opened soon after the original Rosamond mill in Almonte.  Among the first were those of John McIntosh (1832-1904), a large frame building on the upper falls, and of John Baird (1820-1894) and Gilbert Cannon, all on Mill Street.  Sawmills, machine shops and iron foundries followed, including among the latter the foundry operated for a few years by John Flett (1836-1900).  A local real estate boom and flurry of inflated land speculation developed, only to collapse in a severe depression of the mid-seventies.  A fire loss of over $20,000 in 1877 destroyed the Cannon mill and the machinery of its lessee William H. Wylie, who moved to Carleton Place where he leased the McArthur (now Bates) woollen mill and later bought the Hawthorne woollen mill.  William Thoburn (1847-1928) began to manufacture flannels at Almonte in 1880 and became the head of the Almonte Knitting Company and Member of Parliament from 1908 to 1917.  Five textile mills in Almonte in 1904 were those of the Rosamond Woollen Company, William Thoburn, James H. Wylie Co. Limited, Almonte Knitting Company, and the Anchor Knitting Co. Limited.

The Rosamonds.

“For I dipt into the future, far as human eye could see, Saw the Vision of the world, and all the wonder that would; Saw the heavens fill with commerce, argosies of magic sails, Pilots of the purple twilight, dropping down with costly bales.”

Every age, of course, has its dreamers. The Vision which Lord Tennyson expressed in “Locksley Hall” was written in the year 1842. The words have a prophetic ring about them, and might lead the incautious reader to impute just a little less than angelic insight into Tennyson, and a great deal more that human dreaming.

Yet, today, four-hundred passenger jet-powered aircraft zip in magic argosies through the purple twilight, wings outspread to span the continent in a bound, like eagles beating the air currents over a mountain pass. Nuclear power is no longer a maverick, but submits tamely to the harness. Occasionally too, after successful splashdown, men returning from a two-week rocket trip to the moon are greeted and welcomed back on earth as only ordinary heroes. It is the succeeding age that learns that dreams never do match stride with reality.

James Rosamond was a businessman in Carleton Place, but he became a dreamer in Almonte. It was thirty years after the Scots and Irish had arrived in “the place with a falls on the Mississippi” as Peter Robinson described in, and then years after Tennyson’s “Locksley Hall” had been put into circulation, and only a few months before the suggestion was made that the village might be called after a Mexican general who was then prominent in the news of the day.

Three hundred people were living in the village situated above the falls in the Mississippi River. Daniel Shipman had a sawmill below the falls, and a square timber-making yard above. The place was usually referred to as Shipman’s Mills. The age-old roar of the river in flood as it went crashing through the gorge, this was the sound that sang in the ears of the inhabitants both by day and by night. Only when summer came in and the river subsided did the roaring cease, and in its place the sounds of settlement took over, the rasp and scrape of the saw, the snick snick of the broad axe, and the clank of chains holding the boom logs together as they lapped so slightly in the current of the river above the falls.

James Rosamond emigrated from Ireland in 1827, and, after getting established, he formed business interests in Carleton Place in 1832 which comprised a wood-working plant, a grinding mill, and a custom carding plant. In 1846 he expanded the woollen end of things by adding spinning machines, and in this way he was responsible for the start of the woollen manufacturing business in Carleton Place.

In 1851 he ventured capital to become a partner in another enterprise, the Ramsay Woolen Cloth Manufacturing Company. The company’s principal share holders were local people around Shipman’s Mill. Daniel Shipman, of course, was one of them, and James Rosamond now found himself partnered with a vigorous enterpriser, and the reputed founder of the place by the falls on the Mississippi.

They acquired a mill site beside the cataract and then erected a frame mill and set to work. Demand for woollen products was very good amongst the people on the farms in Ramsay and Huntley, the mill was the first woollen mill in the place, and the future looked good. Their venture marked the beginning of what was to become the major industry of the place for the next hundred years.

Disaster, however, struck a scant two months after the mill had been put into operation. Fire broke out. The mill was totally destroyed, and the company was forced by circumstances to close down. Two years later, in 1853, James Rosamond bought the site and prepared to rebuild on the same spot. Mr. Rosamond, however was from Ireland, and this time he resolved to build in stone.

That winter of 1853 was eventful in many ways. Circumstances were just right to make an ordinary business minded person become a dreamer, and an ordinary dreamer become a prophet.

The name “Waterford” had been proposed for this place by the falls, but another locality in western Ontario had already usurped the Irish place name for itself. John Haskins suggested another to Major Gemmill. Almonte. The name was proposed officially, was accepted and remained.

For fifteen years also the Rideau Canal had been in operation and traffic moved regularly over the route from Bytown up the Rideau to Kemptville, Burritt’s Rapids, Merrickville, and a place called Smiths Falls, and thence through the Poonamalee locks and the lakes of the Big Rideau chain to Westport, on to Brewer’s Mills, Seeley’s Bay, and over the height of land at Cranberry Lake before dipping down to Cataraqui and Kingston.

Oh the canal was a great improvement. No doubt about it. It opened up the hinterland between Kingston and Ottawa, but still, transportation was a problem. Everybody knew that. Everyone talked about it, but very few seemed to have any idea what to do about it. People in the villages along the Mississippi, and especially those at Almonte, needed a means of transportation to enable them to break out of the bonds of the primitive land. The bush and the river were holding them back. They needed roads.

That winter of 1853 they called a public meeting in Almonte. The need for something to be done about transportation, that was the idea that triggered the meeting. The people wanted to find out if it would be possible to build a macadamized road the Smiths Falls where goods and produce could be put aboard boats moving through the Rideau Canal. If they could get into the big markets of the United States by shipping through the canal, commerce would be stimulated and the village would go forward.

James Rosamond was at the meeting, and was doing a lot of listening. Someone asked what could be done about the number of Irish navies who had been hired to work years before on the building of the Rideau Canal, and had been footloose, many of them, in the country since the completion of the canal. Ostensibly they were looking for work, but, of course, anyone without regular employment was suspect.

James Rosamond knew the skills of the Irish. They could build in stone. They could build macadamized roads, and they could build stone woollen mills. It took only a moment’s glance to tell there was lots of stone in the area around Almonte, and it was quite suitable for building purposes. Perhaps the Irish could be put to work on the mill he had in mind, or on the macadamized road, or both for that matter.

The someone at the meeting dropped a bomb. Heavens, the man said, why waste time on a macadamized road to Smiths Falls? Why not build a railway? In fact, why stop at Smiths Falls? Why not build a railway that would go straight through Carleton Place, Franktown, Smiths Falls, Jasper, right on down to the Front, to the St. Lawrence at Brockville? A railway would prove much more valuable for trade than the canal; it would open up the American market far more speedily than anything else for the goods and products that would come from mills now building and to be built to run from the falls of the Mississippi at this place now called Almonte.

A railway? The very idea intrigued James Rosamond. To Brockville on the St. Lawrence? Now there was vision. This Almonte was a forward looking place, and these were forward looking people. Just my kind of people, thought James Rosamond. The meeting broke up, but Mr. Rosamond, Daniel Shipman and a few others remained standing outside the meeting hall, looking at the river, the conversation continued about this new dimension in transportation. The men in the group seemed to be strangely taken. Something had come over them. Here they had come to a meeting to discuss building a macadamized road to Smiths Falls, and now, without warning, they found themselves in earnest discussion about a railroad to Brockville. For a moment Mr. Rosamond wondered if the scope of the venture had got out of control; yet, no denying it, the railroad idea had a lot of merit.

James Rosamond found his focus after the meeting had changed greatly from what it had been before. The Railroad now intruded on his mind so powerfully that he found he could neither shake free of its grasp nor swing this thoughts back to the mundane things like woolens, macadamized roads and stone mills.

In the end the clump of men outside the meeting hall decided to break up their discussion and return to their homes, but not before they took one firm resolve, they would make a journey to Brockville to discuss the matter with friends there at greater length, and, if the signs appeared favourable, to find associates in the town on the shore of the St. Lawrence, and enlist their support in sharing in a grand design, a railway to link the St. Lawrence River with the Ottawa River through Almonte.

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

Rosamonds – The One Carleton Place Let Get Away

Letters from Bennett Rosamond — 1894- Adin Daigle Collection

Rosamond History– The “Damn” Dam Case 1870

More Photos of the Rosamond Water Tower

Pinehurst 1898 — The Rosamond Home — 8 Years After it was Built

Five Men That Tied up the Rosamond Mill 1907

The Mules of the Number 1 Mill?

The Drought of 1871 and the Mills on the Mississippi River

So Who Was Mary Rosemond/Rosamond?

Was Working in One of Our Local Mills Like Working in a Coal Mine?

Babies in the Textile Mills

The Rosamond Woolen Company’s Constipation Blues

MIDNIGHT FIRE DESTROYS THE YORKSHIRE WOOL STOCK MILL 1923

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MIDNIGHT FIRE DESTROYS THE YORKSHIRE WOOL STOCK MILL 1923
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)

ALMONTE ESCAPES GREATER DISASTER BECAUSE OF CALM Even At That Burning Cinders Fell Half a Mile Away

September1923

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

Remnants of the Ramsay Woolen Mill

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Remnants of the Ramsay Woolen Mill

The town’s woollen manufacturing had its start with the opening in 1851 of a mill with one set of machinery by the Ramsay Woollen Cloth Manufacturing Company, a company formed under the new Joint Stock Companies Act with capital raised in Ramsay and Beckwith among some forty shareholders.  The village of Ramsayville at this time had a population of little more than two hundred persons.  The next summer a fire destroyed the new woollen mill, gutted Daniel Shipman’s nearby unfinished and uninsured new gristmill and destroyed his old mill.  Disaster, however, struck a scant two months after the mill had been put into operation. Fire broke out. The mill was totally destroyed, and the company was forced by circumstances to close down. Two years later, in 1853, James Rosamond bought the site and prepared to rebuild on the same spot. Mr. Rosamond, however was from Ireland, and this time he resolved to build in stone.

The loss in this Mill Street fire, one of a number of similar fire losses of following years, was about 2,000 pounds  to the company and 2,000 pounds to Mr. Shipman.  Daniel Shipman at once rebuilt his mill within its standing stone walls.  The building, later owned by John Baird, finally was torn down in 1902.

The Ramsay Woollen Cloth Manufacturing Company opened in 1852 at
the bottom of Mill Street in a frame building with just one set of machinery.
This was the first local venture to process wool products for export, rather
than for local use. Shares were owned by 36 local residents, among
them Daniel Shipman (Ramsayville) and James Rosamond (Carleton
Place).

When the building was destroyed by fire the following summer,
Rosamond bought the site and water rights himself. By 1857 he had built a
3.5-storey stone building, known as the Victoria Woollen Mill, to produce
wool products for export. In 1862 James’ sons Bennett and William, who
had acquired management of their father’s textile business, doubled the
capacity of the Mill Street mill by adding a three-storey, five-sided building
adjacent to the earlier one. It is this second building which survives at 7
Mill Street.

Other woollen mills soon followed: Samuel Reid and John McIntosh established the Almonte Woollen Manufacturing Company on Shipman’s old sawmill site in 1854, operating there until 1865. Demand for woollen products was very good amongst the people on the farms in Ramsay and Huntley, the mill was the first woollen mill in the place, and the future looked good. Their venture marked the beginning of what was to become the major industry of the place for the next hundred years.

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One day in the spring of 1851 Mr. Haskins and Mr. ———- (late in the employ of the Rosamond Woollen Co. of Carleton Place, called on my father,  John Gemmill who died the following year on the subject of establishing a mill at Almonte. This project was looked on favorably by Mr. Shipman. Mr. John Scott and Mr. Hugh Rae also favored it. The result was that a company was formed called “The Ramsay Woollen Cloth Manufacturing Company.” It ran a short time and was burned. This was the beginning of the industry in Almonte. Mr. John Gemmill was chairman of the Board in this firm. Shortly after the fire Mr. James Rosamond moved his machinery from Carleton Place to Almonte and launched the Rosamond Woollen Company which was for many years to enjoy an enviable prestige for turning out cloth of the highest quality. 

More History on the Almonte Knitting Mills — Wylie Milling Company

The Burning of Wylie’s Mill

The House on Thomas Street — Can You Help?

The Sad Saga of The Almonte Furniture Factory

Minute to Minute– The Almonte Flour Mill Explosion

Explosion at the Almonte Flour Mill–Rob Armstrong‎

The Mules of the Number 1 Mill?

Was Working in One of Our Local Mills Like Working in a Coal Mine?

Babies in the Textile Mills

The Drought of 1871 and the Mills on the Mississippi River

Shocking Murder in Almonte–Michigan Charlie

Mary Cook News Archives — The Wool Industry 1982

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Mary Cook News Archives — The Wool Industry 1982

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The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
01 Feb 1982, Mon  •  Page 7

 

relatedreading

Carleton Place Ladies Auxiliary — Chamber of Commerce 1987– Mary Cook Archives

It’s Hard for Women to get into Office in Carleton Place — 1974 –Mary Cook

Mary Cook Archives —Philip Mailey — January 25 1983

Carleton Place a place for Mad Scientists! Mary Cook News Archives 1983

Mary Cook Archives — Rifle Ranges and Nursery Schools — September 1980

 

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

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

 

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In the Springtime of 1876, April 21, I came to town (Perth) having rented the McPherson carding mill as associate with my Uncle George. He was supposed to have the capital, but after a few days he got homesick and I decided to continue, feeling that to turn back would mean defeat and that I would never get anywhere.

The executors of the property trusted me to go ahead. I bought the yarn stock for 159 dollars and 60 cents on time. During the next two weeks business was good and I paid for this in full. As terms were cash I was enabled to finance. There was a shingle mill in connection. I bought the shingle stock and cut it into shingles, but I had much trouble in getting rid of the shingles.

I continued carding rolls for home spinning: charging four cents when oiled at home, and six cents per pound for spinning, deducting one pound in ten for loss; much of the wool was hand picked or semi washed.

Customers were strong on getting their own wool back in the yarn as each person thought that his wool was better than the others, but they did not always get it. I had much trouble in saving myself from becoming a first class liar as customers wanted to know when their work would be ready, and if not careful in promising trouble followed– sometimes with a severe chastisement.

In the autumn of 1876, together with a party, I went to *the Centennial at Philadelphia, Pa. We lodged in Germantown and had a rate one dollar a day. We were away 6 days in all, and altogether it cost me 28 dollars and a half. I was called the boy of the party, but I do not think it cost the others much more if anything. Of course we did not have Pullman accommodation.

When the custom season was over I was asked by the executors of the estate what I would give for the property where I was. I named 3000 dollars. Shortly after I was advised that the property had been sold to a *fellow elder at the figure that I had offered. I felt that I had been used, and naturally I was disappointed, however I resolved not to be outdone. I rented the small frame building at the south side of the stone flour mill and put in a water wheel. I installed carding and spinning machinery of a primitive character, and got into operation about the first of June 1877.

I got my share of the custom, and after two seasons, my opposition ceased to operate. The same executors came to me and asked me to buy the machinery. I told them I had no money, to which they replied that they would trust me. At the same moment one A. D. Disher– representing the McLaren Lumber Company at The Pache, province of Quebec– was on his way to buy the machinery. He was told that I had bought it so he came to me and asked if I would sell, and at what price. I named 1000 dollars for the cards, hand jack spinner, and the picker. He put his hand in his trouser pocket and produced one hundred 10 dollar bills. This happened without any banter whatsoever, and the deal was verbal.

I immediately went to the law office of F.A. Hall and paid off the claim. I had left a Judson roll card that had been operated by my Uncle Richard on the Haggart premises many years before, which together with some other equipment I had for 100 dollars. Without opposition the struggle was not so strenuous for a year or two, but the evolution had started from the homemade to the factory made.

Next- The Ryan Family and the Evolution of Socks

 

 

historicalnotes

*In celebration of America’s one-hundredth anniversary of independence, the Centennial Exhibition took place on more than 285 acres of land in Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park May 10-November 10, 1876. Close to ten million visitors (9,910,966) went to the fair via railroad, steamboat, carriage, and on foot. Thirty-seven nations participated in the event, officially named the International Exhibition of Arts, Manufactures, and Products of the Soil and Mine. The grounds contained five major buildings: the Main Exhibition Building, Memorial Hall (Art Gallery), Machinery Hall, Agricultural Hall, and Horticultural Hall. In addition to these buildings, approximately 250 smaller structures were constructed by states, countries, companies, and other Centennial bureaus that focused on particular displays or services.

 

*Of possible interest, a notice in the Courier in August 1872 announced that John Drysdale of Glen Tay had come to work in the carding mill of McPherson Wool in Perth. The Drysdales had a connection to the Adams family, and a man by the name of Drysdale was injured in the woolen mill fire of 1870

 

 

 

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.

History

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..

 

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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

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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. Read-More Local Treasure Than Pirate’s Booty on Treasure Island

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–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)

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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”

When Newspapers Gossiped–David Kerr Innisville

Kerr or Ennis? More about the Innisville Scoundrel

What Went Wrong with the Code Mill Fire in Innisville?

Donald Munro Wool Puller

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Donald Munro Wool Puller

 

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File:Stamp Canada 1900

 

 

Brice McNeely’s tannery is one of the oldest in this part of the country. The proprietor manufactures leather of various kinds and is one of our substantial steady and increasingly prosperous men, with considerable real estate. John F. Cram, whose large wool-pulling establishment is well known in this section, manipulates a vast amount of sheep pelts in a year, his premises being one of the most extensive in Eastern Ontario. He also manufactures russet leather.

Donald Munro, having severed connection with the other large wool-pulling establishment in which he was a partner and started in the same business on his own account, has by untiring perseverance and good equipment worked up a remunerative business.

So what was a wool puller?

Job Description:

1) Removes wool from sheep pelts and sorts wool into bins: Holds pelt against angled table and pulls wool from pelt.

2) Examines and grades wool according to color, texture, and length.

3) Places wool in designated containers.

4) Scrapes remaining wool from pelt, using scraping stick.

5) Cuts off brand marks and wool around head and feet with shears.

6) Places stripped pelts on racks or truck.

7) May grade pelts before pulling.

 

historicalnotes

 

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Clipped from Democrat and Chronicle,  02 Feb 1874, Mon,  Page 4

 

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Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  02 Nov 1937, Tue,  Page 3

 

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

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.

 

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You Would Never Find Warm Leatherette at the Local Carleton Place Tannery

Past Parables of the Penman Woollen Mill

Armchair Tourism in Carleton Place– Wooly Bully!!!! Part 6

So How Much Time Do You Get for Stealing Wool?

Before The Carleton Place Mews?

Carleton Place Wins Prizes for their Wool!

“Wear Your Woolens Ladies” — says The Carleton Place Canadian

 

 

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Armchair Tourism in Carleton Place– Wooly Bully!!!! Part 6

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Please play while listening..

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Photo- the gals and a gent on the Carleton Place Chamber of Commerce tour of Carleton Place– come along with us today to see the Canadian Co-operative Wool Growers 

 

 

 

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Photo Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

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Have you ever visited the Canadian Co-operative Wool Growers company in Carlton Place?  It is an amazing place located in the old Canadian Pacific Railway workshop and roundhouse, which was used  by the railway from 1890 till 1939. The WoolGrowers Co-operative moved into the building in 1940. They process over three million pounds of wool every year and we should be proud that we as the town of Carleton Place are the only people that process wool in Canada. That’s right-all the wool come here!

 

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For more than 70 years, 142 Franktown Road in Carleton Place has been the go-to place for wool! In 1940 the Canadian Co-operative Wool Growers Limited purchased a large, limestone building from the Canadian Pacific Railway.

 

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The quality check man. He is the lone wolf for quality control. Can you imagine examining raw wool all day long?

 

 

Right next door is the The Real Wool Shop

Real Wool Shop supplies the discerning consumer with wool related products for men and women of all ages, from wool underwear to sheepskin slippers to coats. Seasonal fashion clothing is also available year round. The yarn department is a treat for all knitters from beginners to experienced.

 

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The Real Wool Shop Facebook page

Wool Shop Contact

Contact Information

Phone: 613-257-2714
Email: woolshop @ wool.ca
Location: 142 Franktown Rd, Carleton Place, ON K7C 3P3

Store Hours

Weekdays: 9:30 to 6:00
Saturday: 9:30 to 5:00
Sunday: 11:00 to 5:00

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Today’s photo is of workers taking a break at the CPR Engine Repair Shops. Built in 1890 as a round house and repair shop for the Canadian Pacific Railway, it employed about 200 workers. After operations were moved to Smiths Falls, the building was purchased by the Canadian Cooperative Woolgrowers. Iron tracks from the turntable in the roundhouse were sold as scrap to help the war effort in 1940. Can you help us identify any of these men?–Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

relatedreading

Armchair Tourism in Carleton Place –Part 1–Bud’s Taxi

Armchair Tourism in Carleton Place –Part 2–A Snack and a View

Armchair Tourism in Carleton Place–I Threw Away my Candy at The Ginger Cafe Part 3

Armchair Tourism in Carleton Place –Part 4–Stepping Back in Time

Armchair Tourism in Carleton Place –Part 5–Fly Me to the Moon

 

Related Wool Reading

So How Much Time Do You Get for Stealing Wool?

Before The Carleton Place Mews?

Carleton Place Wins Prizes for their Wool!

“Wear Your Woolens Ladies” — says The Carleton Place Canadian

 

Jennifer Fenwick Irwin–second photo
This photo shows the water tower located near the corner of the engine repair shops (now the Woolgrowers building). Photo from the collection of The Museum of Science and Technolog

The Rosamond Woolen Company’s Constipation Blues

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In the Rosamond Woolen Company’s offices, (now the home of the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum) there is an original office and managers washroom dating back to 1904. In 1900 a washroom called for the fixtures to be placed a dignified distance from each other. Undignified, were the many liquor bottles workers constantly found under the woolen mill’s plumbing renovations. Was the non-celebratory consuming of spirits caused from excessive office work?

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Sigfried Gideon once said that the central space of the bathroom should be ample enough for moving around freely, or even exercising. However, the condensed size of that particular Almonte office bathroom became a fatality because of a certain plant manager’s girth. The gentleman was said to be a rather obese man and sadly died while contemplating his constitution on that very same commode. Were the stories from the voices of the Lanark wilderness true? Was there a great challenge to remove the man out of the washroom after his passing? One might say the poor man fatally spun his life away while the rest of the mill quietly wove wool tweed.

Am I trying to pull the wool over your eyes? You are just going to have to come and visit the Museum to see for yourself.

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Mississippi Valley Textile Museum

3, Rosamond St. E.
Almonte, Ontario
K0A 1A0

October to March
Tuesday to Saturday: 10 am to 4 pm.

April to September
Tuesday to Saturday: 10 am to 4 pm.
Sunday: 1 pm to 4 pm.

Children under 12 are always free

Admission $5.00
Members admitted without charge