Walter’s Falls: The Old Mill

Walter's Falls
Walter’s Falls

By James MacDougall

Yesterday my friend Ray and I went out to Walter’s Falls another place in the Grey Bruce area that I have never visited. It’s out past Bognor in an isolated part of the county about midway between Chatsworth and Meaford. What we found there was a 14 metre high waterfall (as was to be expected at a place named ‘falls’), the shell of an old woolen mill, the scattered, rusting parts of an old saw mill, a forklift that got mired in the muck one day and was left abandoned ever since, an inn & spa, the Bruce Trail and some very imaginative wood carvings.

The story of Walter’s Falls begins in 1852 when John Walter of Toronto claimed 300 acres of land on the south branch of the Bighead River.  A saw mill was built in 1853 and the town grew up around this. By 1865 the town had a grist mill, a woolen mill, a post office, a tavern, a blacksmith, a wagon maker, two carpenters, a millwright and a tinsmith. 1 The village had a population of about 200 people in 1887.The sawmill  remained until it burned down on October 15, 1984.

Old woolen mill, Walter's Falls
Old woolen mill, Walter’s Falls
Old woolen mill detail, Walter's Falls
Old woolen mill detail, Walter’s Falls
The dam, Walter's Falls
The dam, Walter’s Falls
The dam, Walter's Falls
The dam, Walter’s Falls

 

Notes:

  1. Hubbert, Mildred (1983). The Paths that Led to Holland, Vol 1. Canada: The Historical Society of Holland Township. p. 1

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