The Martintown Grist Mill was built on the Raisin River in 1846, by Alexander McMartin, replacing the original wooden mill on the same site, built by his father Malcolm McMartin in 1801. The mill became the centre of commerce at the time and attracted other settlers and other businesses to the area. In the early 19th century the town of McMartin's Mills, later renamed Martintown, was bigger and more important than nearby Cornwall.
The 4-story mill measures 30 by 55 feet, built from local fieldstone. It served the local community as a custom flour mill until 1947, when operations ceased. After that the owners of the day buit a more updated facility across the river and used the grist mill as a warehouse.
It was left vacant for several years until purchased once again by the McMartin family descendants. Unfortunately by now the old mill had grown into a state of dis-repair and the expense to fix would be too overwhelming, the family donated the mill to the Raisin River Conservation Authority. Some immediate repairs where made, but the long-term costs were expected to be too much and in 1985 the decision was made to tear it down.
The local people stepped forward to save the mill and the Martintown Mill Preservation Society was created to raise funds and secure grants. They managed to save the mill and create an historic site in 1993. After major re-construction projects, the mill opened to the public in 2004.
The Martintown Grist Mill is open on select dates for tours and as a museum, preserving the rich heritage of the mill itself and the local community.
Visit www.martintownmill.org for more info, history and scheduled open dates.