Marysville Cotton Mill National Historic Site of Canada
Marysville Cotton Mill
Filature de coton de Marysville
Links and documents
1883/01/01 to 1885/01/01
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Marysville Cotton Mill National Historic Site of Canada is the focal point of the Marysville Historic District National Historic Site of Canada. Rehabilitated to serve as government offices, the imposing, four-storey, red-brick cotton mill building features a flat-roofed central tower, and numerous multi-pane mullion windows. Located within the former settlement of Marysville, a model community built to house the mill workers, and the building is situated within the block bounded by McGloin, Fisher, Duke, Marshall and Bridge Streets. The official recognition refers to the mill building on the legal lot.
Marysville Cotton Mill was designated a national historic site of Canada because:
- it is a representative example of the brick pier Cotton Mills that were common in the Canadian textile industry during its expansionist phase.
Industrialist Alexander "Boss" Gibson built this cotton mill between 1883 and 1885. Designed by the Boston architectural firm of Lockwood, Greene and Company Mill Architects and Engineers, the construction of the mill was influenced by New England models and is a classic example of the brick “insurance mill” of the late 19th-century.
This four-storey building was constructed of locally made brick and features brick pier construction, a central water tower and fire-retardant materials on the interior. By 1900 Marysville Cotton Mill was among the largest mills in Canada. The mill was designed on the “slow-burning” principle and was state-of-the-art for its time, incorporating not only electric lighting, but all those features characteristic of plants whose power was provided from a central plant and distributed by belts, pulleys and overhead shafting to machinery whose location within the complex was dictated by its place within the production framework. Despite its seemingly remote location, the mill was designed to supply a national market and did so throughout its working career. The mill continued manufacturing textiles until the late 1970s.
Source: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, June 1986.
Key elements contributing to the heritage value of this site include:
- the spatial relationship of the mill building to the various components of the Marysville Historic District National Historic Site of Canada, to the river, to existing and former mill sites, and to the former rail line, now a hiking trail;
- the imposing scale of the mill building in relation to the surrounding buildings;
- the four-storey rectangular massing of the building;
- its four-storey main elevation with central tower;
- its brick pier construction;
- the large scale and regularity of the fenestration;
- the decorative brickwork particularly along the main façade;
- surviving evidence of those standard features of a 19th-century cotton mill;
- the surviving two-storey “Annex,” formerly the Dye House, with its brick construction, regular fenestration, and open interior spaces.
Government of Canada
Historic Sites and Monuments Act
National Historic Site of Canada
1885/01/01 to 1973/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Developing Economies
- Trade and Commerce
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
Function - Category and Type
- Office or office building
- Textile or Leather Manufacturing Facility
Architect / Designer
Lockwood, Greene & Company Mill Architects and Engineers
Location of Supporting Documentation
Indigenous Affairs and Cultural Heritage Directorate Documentation Centre 3rd Floor, room 366 30 Victoria Street Gatineau, Québec J8X 0B3
Cross-Reference to Collection