Mowry & Hilliard [main office in Peterborough]

  • Sawmill 1872 (Approx.) - 1875 (Approx.)

A partnership formed between lumber merchants George Brownlee and [Bradley?] Mowry to operate a saw mill ([1868-1872]) was dissolved sometime after 1872. C.D. Howe’s 1913 Trent Watershed Survey notes that the 1872/1873 output for “Hilliard & Mowry” [sic] was “4,000,000 feet B.M.” [106], so a new partnership was formed about this time. The 1873 edition of D&B also records the partnership under the new name of Mowry and Hilliard and their mill was in operation at this time.

George Hilliard was from Peterborough and had his main operations there. [Bradley?] Mowry, a resident of Lindsay, is listed as a machinist in the 1871 Census. Both were intermittent residents. The Mowry & Hilliard partnership lasted only a few years and was apparently dissolved after 1875. The fate of the mill, however, is unclear. Mowry left Fenelon Falls permanently for Lindsay about 1876, where he ran a foundry for seven years, and then moved to Gravenhurst where he manufactured mill machinery [FFG 1 Oct 1897; 4]. Suggitt implies [269] that Hilliard continued to operate the mill “for a time.” Nonetheless, when John Thompson and A. McArthur leased “Mowrey’s old mill” in March 1880, it had been idle “for over four years” [CP 19 March 1880; 3]. The lease lasted only for a season, and when Thompson and McArthur began construction of their own mill in 1881, the Mowry mill was again abandoned.

On the afternoon of Wednesday July 13th 1881, a spark from the steamer Ontario destroyed the mill and several surrounding buildings [CP 15 July 1881; 3]; it also started a smoldering grass fire that burned for several days. Hilliard sued for damages and was awarded $3800.00 [FFG 15 Sept 1883; 2]. The mill was never rebuilt. There is a photograph of Mowry in old age taken by Stanton, in the collection of the Fenelon Falls Museum (994.57).

570 Also know locally as Hilliard and Mowry. To confuse things the mill was also referred to as Howry’s Mill and as Hilliard’s Mill.

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