The construction of mills shortly after the arrival of the settlers in 1819 was essential to the existence of these pioneers. The various mills performed different tasks: turn grain into flour, clean the grain for the next year’s seed, saw logs into lumber for building barns and houses, produce woolen goods etc. In addition the farmers would earn income from the sale of their farm products.
Below are a collection of photos of some of the mills built in the communities of Esquesing Township. Many of the first mills predated photography and some of the original mills were destroyed by fire so the photos are of the second or even the third generation mills.
From the 1877 Halton Historical Atlas
The early development of Georgetown, Acton and the surrounding communities was largely determined by topography, industry and access. A good source of water power was the key to their development. Early entrepreneurs built mills on the Credit River, Silver Creek and Black Creek.
George Kennedy settled in the area in 1823 and soon afterward built his saw and grist mills at the meeting place of two streams near the present Mill and Guelph Street intersection. This was the beginning of the small settlement, Georgetown.
Benajah Williams of Grimsby Township purchased the Muirhead property, Lot 21 Conc. 10 Esquesing Township (Glen Williams) and had a saw mill up and running by 1825 followed by a flour mill soon afterward. In 1839 Jacob Williams started a woollen mill. Other mills included Tweedle’s sawmill and William McClure’s sawmill.