Old Stone Mill NHS - The Delta Mill Society

History of the Old Stone Mill

A short (4 minute) photo video tour of the Old Stone Mill
The Old Stone Mill, built in 1810, is a National Historic Site of Canada that is owned and operated by The Delta Mill Society, a non-profit organization. The society has restored the structure of the mill and made it operational.

Today you will find the mill open to the public during the summer season, featuring many exhibits as well as flour making demonstrations.

On this page you will find some information about the history of the mill and exhibits within the mill. You can take a short virtual tour by playing the video on this page and go to the Photo Page for more photos of the mill, including many interior and exterior photos.

History of the Old Stone Mill

The Old Stone Mill at Delta was built in 1810 by William Jones and Ira Schofield and is one of the earliest surviving, fully automatic, grist mills of Upper Canada. In 1817 the mill was described as "unquestionably the best building of the kind in Upper Canada".

In 1963 the last owner of the Mill, Hastings Steele, deeded the Old Stone Mill to a group of four people in trust, for the sum of one dollar. Mr. Steele's prime concern was that the Mill should be preserved and would in time become a museum of milling technology. These four people founded the The Delta Mill Society later the same year and in 1972 the Society was incorporated as a Non-profit Corporation in the Province of Ontario.

The Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada declared the Old Stone Mill at Delta to be a National Historic Site in 1973 and it is the only surviving pre-1812 stone grist mill in Ontario. In 1978 the Old Stone Mill was designated under the Ontario Heritage Act.

The Delta Mill Society has restored the structural integrity of the mill and made it operational (see the Restoration Page). We've also added many exhibits to explain the milling process to visitors and to also explain the role of the mill in the community (see below).

For more history about the Old Stone Mill, please read the article:
Old Stone Mill National Historic Site: Restoring a Legacy

Exhibits at the Mill

Cutaway View of the Old Stone Mill
Cutaway view showing how the Old Stone Mill would have operated in the early 1800s.
The prime artifact of the Delta Mill Society is the Mill itself, an imposing Georgian-style stone structure of four stories, 40 by 60 feet (12m x 18m). This National Historic Site is a proud reminder of the industrial heritage of Eastern Ontario. In 2005 the newly renovated mill was enhanced with beautiful interpretive signboards and displays, in 2007 a water-wheel was installed and in 2010, working millstones and a bolter were put in place. A feature exhibit, Down by the Old Millstream, Celebrating Life on the Beverley Lakes can be found on the third floor of the mill. An illustrated self-guided tour allows the visitor to easily browse all these exhibits

In addition to the mill, a displays of the early industrial heritage of the Delta region can be found at the museum, in the Old Town Hall, located just behind the mill on Court Street. Both the mill and museum offer a gift shop for your browsing pleasure.

When you first enter the mill, you'll see and hear the rushing water that first powered a water wheel and later a turbine to operate the various machinery of the mill. Much of this machinery is on display, starting with equipment such as millstones used the early 1800s era and moving up to machinery used in the early 1900s.

Main Floor Display Beautifully illustrated interpretive displays are housed in the historic ambiance of the Old Stone Mill.

The displays and the stunning architecture of the mill itself make a visit to the mill an unforgettable experience.
An interactive display allows kids of all ages to see how grain is moved by elevator and auger. Interactive Display
Working millstones grind grain into flour on special occasions working millstones
Water Wheel A full size water wheel shows how the mill was powered in the early 1800s.

The third floor features an extensive exhibit titled "Down by the Old Millstream - Celebrating Life on the Beverley Lakes" Third Floor Exhibit

Self Guided Tour An easy to use self-guided tour will take you through the interpretive displays.

Art Shaw blacksmithing - photo by: Ken W. Watson During special events industrial heritage demonstrations are held.

In the photo on the left, Art Shaw (former Delta Mill Society President) shows his blacksmithing skills.

In the photo on the right a corn sheller is demonstrated.
Corn Display - photo by: Ken W. Watson

Wheel Barrow Kid

The Delta Mill Society   The Delta Mill Society
Box 172, Delta, Ontario K0E 1G0
Tel: 613-928-2584 (office)
Email: info@deltamill.org
The Delta Mill Society

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