The Clayton Grist Mill Historical Mural

The History of Clayton...

This mural is mounted on the Clayton Community Centre.  It was painted by the Almonte and Area Artists’ Association in 2018 and donated to the hall.

The first grist mill that was the Bellamy’s was a stone building. They sold the property to the Drummond family in 1860 who built this structure in 1864 because the stone structure had become derelict. It is likely that it was built on the original foundation.

The building of the grist mill was a great benefit to early settlers.  Prior to the mill, they had to grind their flour by pounding it out in a hollowed out tree stump or rock using a wooden pestle.  Larger amounts of wheat had to be carried to Perth.  The mill used two huge millstones that were capable of grinding the wheat at a rate of over a bushel an hour.  The mill ran day and night thanks to the Clayton dam that held back enough water.

The sacks of grain were carried to the top floor of the mill where it was then poured through a chute that fed into a hopper into the centre of the top millstone.  The bottom millstone was fixed and the top millstone turned.  There were grooves in the stones that took the husks off of the grain and ground it to flour. The flour then exited via the grooves into a chute where it was bagged as flour on the bottom floor. The Clayton mill produced both flour and canaille for porridge and whatever was left was used as food for livestock.

When the Mississippi Lumber Company bought the mill in 1947, it was turned into a planning mill.  IN 1968, when the province bought the mill, it was torn down.  The hasher plates were mounted along with the turbine from the sawmill in the Clayton-Taylor Lake park where the mill once stood.  The millstones were placed at the Mill of Kintail.

 

Picture of the grist mill in 1955: