Saturday, November 4, 2017

Babcock Mill

Babcock Mill by Photos by Healy
Babcock Mill

Babcock Mill, Odessa, Loyalist Township, Ontario, Canada.

Camera: Canon EOS 5D; Lens: Canon EF-24-105mm f/4.0L IS USM; f/9.5 @ 1/180 sec; ISO 400; Focal length: 24mm

   The Babcock Mill is built on land deeded by the British Government to Joshua Booth in 1803 as part of his eight Crown Deeds. The stone structure was built in 1856, by the Saul Brothers, for John K. and Philip D. Booth, sons of Benjamin Booth, of Odessa. The Mill was originally intended to be a Flour Mill but the grain grinding equipment was never installed. The opening of the Grand Trunk Railway, in 1856, allowed cheap flour to be shipped from mills in Toronto and Montreal causing small local mills to be unprofitable. The Mill was used for box making, an office and sales room, and for wool storage, as part of the Booth Woolen Mills on this site.
   In 1907 this mill, and the Sawmill next to it was purchased by John Herbert “Cap” Babcock from the Booth family. Cap installed the present equipment and operated the mill, planing lumber, doing custom mill work, and manufacturing his patented “Babcock” baskets. Following Cap’s death in 1946, his son Roy Babcock continued to operate the mill, entering into a partnership with his brother Oscar. They manufactured truck bodies until the late 1960s when the partnership dissolved and J. H. Babcock & Sons Limited moved to Toronto.
   In 1977, Roy Babcock sold the mill and 13 acres of land to the Township of Ernestown, now Loyalist Township, the current owner of the mill. In 1986, the Township contracted Don Babcock (grandson of J. H. Babcock) to reconstruct and repair the original basket making machinery. Since then The Mill has undergone extensive renovations and is now fully restored to its original working condition.

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