W. H. Welch [sic] first appears in D&B in July 1871, but vanishes thereafter until 1876, when his carding mill became a fixture of village life. The original location of his mill is unknown, but by 1883 it was on Bond Street West beside the creek1; for the water supply from the creek saved the mill from being destroyed by fire that October [FFG 6 Oct 1883; 2]. Francis Sandford and W.H. Welsh [sic] built a factory together on the island between the new canal and the river in 1887. “Messrs. Sandford and Welch are making favourable progress with their building in which they intend having a carriage shop and woolen mill respectively. The foundation is finished and the frame is nearly erected… [CP 7 Oct 1887; 1: 11 Nov 1887; 1]. Although they shared the same building, and made common agreements about water power [CP 18 Nov 1887; 1] and fire protection [FFG 31 Oct 1890; 4], there is no evidence they formed a business partnership.
In spite of the confusion as to the spelling of his name in various sources, a photograph of F. Sandford’s Carriage works, probably dating from the 1890’s shows the “H.W. Walsh Woollen Mill” at the south end of the building. The mill continued to be listed until 1893; in 1894 Walsh added “dry goods” to his stock in trade. He also invited other merchants to display their goods in his store. For example: “Mr. J. Whiteside, of Manilla, will be at Mr. William Walsh’s shop, Fenelon Falls, with a good assortment of watches, jewellry, and spectacles” on Monday, the 16th inst., and on the 16th of every month thereafter; or upon the 15th, if the 16th should be a Sunday. Persons needing anything in this line will do well to give him a call” [FFG 6 Aug 1897; 5]. The carding mill and dry goods operation continued until 1915. Afterwards Walsh only handled dry goods.
William Henry died June 20th, 1928 in his 87th year. He was buried in the Fenelon Falls Cemetery.
809 Variant spelling: Walch; Welsh, Welch. W.H. often appears as Welch in local sources and directories. The 1891 Census lists him as Welsh, but local photographs show his business sign as “Walsh”, and his gravestone records his name as W.H. Walsh. He is also listed as Henry Welsh.
810 This is currently the site of the Salvation Army Chapel. The Army purchased the “old woollen mill and half acre lot” from Walsh in 1891, moved the mill to the centre of the lot, added a stone foundation and an addition, converting the mill into their “barracks” [FFG 28 Aug 1891; 4].