LH0245 Empire Woollen Mill - Columbus
- Media Type:
- Item Type:
- View of the exterior the Empire Woollen Mill in Columbus.
- Just west of Columbus on a branch of the Oshawa Creek at the SE corner of Thornton Rd. and Columbus Rd. existed the largest mill in the entire area. Here, in 1835, the impressive, four-storey woollen mills of Mathewson and Ratcliffe were operated by a crew of 50, which was much larger than the other mills that dotted the landscape.
The men were brought in from northern England to work the mill. They resided in a boarding home and small cottages. In 1850 the company was sold to the Empire Mills Company. The area grew into a village that had a church, a store, a school, wooden sidewalks and by 1883, an electrical lighting system powered by the mill dam. It may have been the first of its kind in the entire area.
When a major railway was built well west near Markham the company moved. The old mill struggled under new ownership until 1890 when a flood washed out the dam. It was never rebuilt and the village died. A few old century homes survive; 2 cemeteries from the area survive: the Dryden Baptist Cemetery and St. Paul's Anglican Cemetery.
- Date of Original:
- ca. 1890
- Local identifier:
- Geographic Coverage:
- Copyright Statement:
- Copyright status unknown. Responsibility for determining the copyright status and any use rests exclusively with the user.
Oshawa Public Libraries
Agency street/mail address
Local History and Genealogy Librarian,
65 Bagot Street,
Oshawa, ON L1H 1N2