Mill of Kintail in the 1950s

Lucy Carleton send this interesting account of the Mill when it was owned by Major Jamie Leys and his wife, who bought the property in the early 1950’s from R. Tait McKenzie’s widow Ethel. In the early 1970’s they sold it to the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority.

After reading Michael Reynold’s lovely piece about the Mill of Kintail, a Pocket of Paradise, I discovered some of these photos of Major Leys and his wife in the archives at the Mill. I thought you might like to share them with your readers. Accompanying the file of photos, I found a lengthy, typed poem composed, I assume by “the Major”. It seemed so fitting to find this among the archival treasures at the Mill of Kintail. Here are a few verses.

The Record Keeper

I became a record keeper
I took notes and detailed facts
Created files by date and topic
Then added them to the stacks
And now you all come to see
This frozen place and time
These historic works of art
In this house that once was mine
The first time I pulled the ivy back
And peered in the window to see
I stared at all the ghosts of the McKenzies
Just as you are staring at me.

… So what have I, this tiny drop
To leave behind but these:
Detailed lists and recordings
Of the Missus and Major Leys
The comings and the goings
While the Mill was our possession
The fruits and the labours
Of one old man’s obsession.