Another historical scene to be preserved in Bruce County Museum Archives

Bruce County Museum and Cultural Centre Archives is again richer in Bruce County history  thanks to artist James Paddon.

Paddon, an artist who works primarily in pencil and ink, has created several drawings that depict the history of Bruce County and which he donates to the Bruce County Museum Archives.

On Wednesday, July 26th, Paddon donated his most recent rendering of the Paisley Mill to Museum Archivist Deb Sturdevant.

The historic Stark’s Mill, was built on the Teeswater River in Paisley by James Stark, a hard-working entrepreneur.  He had previously been a hotel owner and mill operator but, apparently, had aspirations for bigger and better things.

With the Wellington, Gray and Bruce Railroad making inroads into the rural area through Paisley, Stark built a massive five story grist mill with an attached four-storey elevator and storage building, something unheard of in the 1800s.  He used modern methods and installed turbines instead of a water wheel to drive the power that operated a roller system instead of traditional grinding stones.

The Paisley Mill became the Paisley City Roller Mills and entered the international market with exports to Great Britain and the Middle East.

For many years, the Mill lay dormants until, years later, it underwent a transformation when Paul and Helen Crysler purchased it as a ‘retirement labour of love’.  They created a store and art gallery renamed, Nature’s Millworks, that focused on works by local artisans.

The Cryslers tried to keep as much of the original 1885 mill as they could, preserving items such as a chopper, a smutter and re-purposed many machinery pieces including leftover bolters that Paul used to create high-quality, one-of-a-kind tables.

On May 17, 2003, the newly restored mill opened its doors as Nature’s Millworks retaining much of the exterior as it was in the 19th century.

Paddon’s artistry depicts the Mill as it was in the 1800s on a quiet country road in Paisley, when its products were transported by horse and wagon.

To view more of Paddon’s works, visit Bruce County Museum Archives Collection