EDITOR’S NOTE: The Town has asked us if we could join with it in bringing you a special series of posts for Canada’s 150th birthday this year — “365 Facts About Mississippi Mills.”
We start today with posts for the first seven days of 2017, and will publish the rest between now and the end of the year.
In celebration of Canada’s 150th Birthday we’ve decided to gather and share some Mississippi Mills fun & fascinating trivia.
These tidbits of local info will include stories about local sports stars, award recipients & other residents who have helped put Mississippi Mills on the map. We’ve included quirky or funny stories, tragic historic events, geographic info and more recent history too. Learn how some of our local clubs started and how our individual communities began.
January 1, 2017
Mississippi Mills is created
The Town of Mississippi Mills (now Municipality) was incorporated in 1998. The town was created through the amalgamation of the Town of Almonte and Ramsay and Pakenham Townships. Prior to 1998 Appleton, Blakeney and Clayton were part of Ramsay Township.
January 2, 2017
Blakeney timber slide
Did you know that between the Blakeney Bridge and the hill rising into the hamlet, there is an old timber slide that connected the Mississippi River to the “Bay”? All the logs coming down the river,headed for Quebec City, passed through it to avoid damage in the rapids, paying a toll to do so. It operated for decades in the 1800’s.
January 3, 2017
Where was Harvey’s Mills?
Robert Harvey settled at the little falls on the Mississippi River in 1823. The village of Pakenham was first known as Harvey’s Mills.
January 4, 2017
Leonard Lee lived here
Leonard Lee, the founder of Canada’s popular woodworking and gardening tool retailer Lee Valley Tools, was a long-time Mississippi Mills resident. He was awarded the Order of Canada, The Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal in 2001, and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal in 2012. In 2015 Leonard and his sons opened L. G. Lee & Sons an old style hardware store and division of Lee Valley Tools at 36 Mill Street in Almonte.
January 5, 2017
Mexican ambassador falls into creek
Does anyone remember when the Mexican ambassador and his wife were thrown out of a carriage into a creek? They were on their way up a small hill at the bottom of Gemmill Park on their way to the Opening Ceremonies for Almonte’s Centennial in 1980.
No injuries occurred.
January 6, 2017
150 years of Union Hall
Union Hall was constructed in 1857 through the efforts of local farmers and the Ramsay District Library Board. Union Hall has been used continuously for over 150 years as a library, meeting hall, place of worship, and a venue for countless family celebrations, memorial services, dances, children’s parties, and cultural activities.
January 7, 2017
Appleton was a boom town
In the late 1800s, Appleton was bustling with the operation of a saw mill, grist mill, carding mill, woolen factory, various wagon and blacksmith shops, two churches, two hotels, a grade school, telegraph office, three stores, and a population of over 300.
This list wouldn’t be possible without our amazing volunteers and history buffs who have contributed information. Special thanks to Jeff Mills, Donna Lowry, Margie Argue, Rose Mary Sarsfield, Renate Seiler, Marilyn Snedden, The North Lanark Historic Society, The Naismith Basketball Foundation, The Mississippi Valley Textile Museum, Neil & Lucy Carleton, Fern Martin, John McMulkin & many others. We are very close to having all of our 365 but have room for a few more. If you have something to contribute please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.