Mill 2003
History of Paisley Mill

Paisley City Roller MillsRibbon Cutting for Historic Plaque

John Valentine was one of the early settlers to the Paisley area arriving shortly after Simon Orchard and Samuel Rowe, the original two settlers of Paisley. He erected the first flour and saw mills in the Paisley area in 1854 and operated them until 1872 when he sold these and the related property to James Stark. The saw mill was washed out by floods in 1929. The original flour mill was destroyed by fire in 1884 and was rebuilt on the original site and reopened again in 1885.

The millwright overseeing this construction and subsequent operation was John McKechnie. The new mill was unusual in that it was powered by two horizontal turbines yielding about 250 horsepower, and used rollers to make the flour. The official incorporated name was Paisley City Roller Mills but was known as Stark's Mill since it remained in the family for 100 years. When combined with the storage capacity at the Paisley train station the mill had a capacity to store 1,280 tons of grain. The east building at the mill consists of the enclosed silos, grain separator and elevators. Flour made from both local and western grain was shipped around the world. Production of flour ceased in 1944 while feed for livestock continued to be processed until 1972 when the mill closed. For a short time apple cider was also produced.

The flour mill measures 40 feet by 48 feet and has 5 floors plus the turbine level while the silo building measures 30 feet by 40 feet, is four storeys high and is joined to the mill building by a covered wagon drive-through. The combination of buildings makes this an impressively large structure and it represents a significant link to our past. Restoration and repairs began in 2000 and the doors opened for the first time in 30 years in 2002.

Sources:

Brown, Ron; Disappearing Ontario; Polar Bear Press, Toronto, Canada; 1999; page 23. (ISBN 1-896757-12-X)

Mika, Nick and Helma; Historic Mills of Ontario; Mika Publishing Co., Belleville, Ontario, Canada; 1987; page 143. (ISBN 0-921341-08-3)

Priamo, Carol; Mills of Canada; McGraw-Hill Ryerson, Toronto, Montreal, Halifax, Vancouver; 1976; pages 34 - 35, 78, 96. (ISBN 0-07-082402-9)

Radojkovic, John; Barns of the Queen's Bush; The Brucedale Press, Port Elgin, Ontario, Canada; 2001; pages 127 - 133. (ISBN 1-896922-16-3 bound; 1-896922-15-5 paper)

The Paisley Centennial Book Committee; An Historic Album of Paisley; Paisley, Ontario, Canada; 1976; page 78.

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Created 2008 07 03 Last updated 2008 09 30
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