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BIRGE

Return to index of Guelph


Located in: Guelph
Location #422
Public

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Location Owner: OAP
Creation Date: 1/1/2006
Last Updated: 1/1/2006



Description
Birge Mills began in 1843 when Edward and Harriet Huxtable arrived in Canada from America and built a dam and sawmill on Lutterill's Creek. Unfortunately Edward Huxtable passed away in 1849 leaving his wife and six year-old son, James. At that time, James Birge, a relative of the family took over operation of the mill that would eventually bear his family's name.

Birge's son, John (b. 1942) grew up learning the ropes of cutting wood and began working in the mill as a sawyer. During the 1860's John and his cousin James Huxtable built their own sawmill in Shiloh. James lost his leg a few years afterwards in a sawmill accident.

By 1870 John Birge bought out his late uncle's sawmill and formed a partnership with Nicholas Lynett from nearby Richmond Hill. By 1880 the mill had expanded to include a stone grist-mill and grain chopper. Birge's Mill became well known for their quality flour.

As the mill's workforce expanded, businesses cropped up to serve the needs of the workers. These included blacksmith, tinsmith, buggy factory, general store and shoemaker. A school, S.S. #3 Eramosa was erected at Concession 2, Lot 20. In 1840 a Presbyterian church was built.

As the years went on, the lumber supply was eventually depleted and the market for wheat became more competetive. Birge's sons, William John and Charles, took over operations at the mill and reduced some of the services. In time, the Birge's sold the mill to the Wheeler brothers who focused on livestock food. The mill continued to operate until 1991 when it was turned into a private home.

The former school remains in use as a private residence.

Birge Mills can be found north of Guelph along the 3rd Line in Wellington County.


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Status:
Status: Unknown
Category: Ghost Town


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