Description of Historic Place
The Old Stone Mill is a three and a half-storey rectangular stone structure with classical proportions and a long facade, located on Main Street in the Village of Delta. Currently owned and operated by the Delta Mill Society which has conducted a number of restoration projects and sponsored a series of public exhibitions.
The Township of Bastard and South Burgess recognizes the heritage values of the Old Stone Mill in Delta in By-law No. 477.
This stone mill was constructed by 1810 under the ownership of William Jones. It stands as one of the oldest remaining mills in Ontario and is a lasting reminder of early settlement and pioneer architecture in Delta. Serving as the focal point for economic development in Delta in the early 19th century, the mill employed the most advanced mill technology of the time, using Oliver Evan's book on automatic milling, published in 1795, as a guiding source for operations. The mill soon became the centre for local industry in the Village of Delta and surrounding areas.
Construction of the mill began shortly after the first settlers arrived in the Delta area in 1796. Between the late 1790s and completion of the mill in 1810, a number of businesses and services in Delta were well underway. During this time pioneer trades and crafts, general stores, a variety of smiths, hotels, a tannery, distillery, foundry, brickyard, cheese factory and even a hospital emerged. This development was centered around the Old Stone Mill and its accompanying dam on Upper Beverely Lake. The technological innovation used at the Old Stone Mill and its resulting economic stimulation served and impacted the nearby villages and communities such as Chantry, Elgin, Forfar, Harlem, Jones Falls, Lyndhurt, Morton, Philipsville, Plum Hollow, and Portland. The Old Stone Mill also spurred the development of a local distillery in the Village of Delta, which produced 15,000 gallons of whiskey and subsequently became the site for the first temperance sermon in Canada.
The Old Stone Mill embodies social and cultural values as it has been documented as a place that cultivated community congregation through the adjacent horse shed and concert hall. The adjacent horse shed served to house the horses of patrons while they shopped at the mill. A second-storey room in the shed was used as a courthouse, school, and meeting room. This meeting place allowed patrons an opportunity to discuss the affairs of the day, both local and global. The concert hall located adjacent to the mill also served as a courtroom and a meeting place for the township council. This concert hall is now operated as the Museum of Industrial Technology.
A landmark for pioneer architecture, the Old Stone Mill is a fine example of an early Georgian Industrial architectural style and is reputed to be the second oldest building of its type in Ontario.
Sources: Township of Bastard and South Burgess By-law No. 601; Diane Haskins, My Own Four Walls: Heritage Buildings in Bastard and South Burgess Township, Council of Bastard and South Burgess Township (1984); Rideau Lakes L.A.C.A.C, “Heritage Tour of Delta” (2002)
Character defining elements include the:
- stone exterior
- low-pitched, gabled roof covered with wood shingles
- projecting eaves and verges along the roofline
- segmental, double-hung windows with a twelve-over eight panes
- stone voussoirs above the windows and doors
- plain wood trim around the windows and doors
- recessed doorway in the centre of the front facade
- segmental structural opening on the doorways on the front facade
Location of Supporting Documentation
Township of Bastard and South Burgess By-law No. 601, Rideau Lakes Township Office
Diane Haskins, My Own Four Walls: Heritage Buildings in Bastard and South Burgess Township, Council of Bastard and South Burgess Township (1984), Rideau Lakes Township Office
Rideau Lakes L.A.C.A.C, “Heritage Tour of Delta” (2002), Rideau Lakes Township Office
Cross-Reference to Collection
Museum and artifacts collection stored at the Old Stone Mill, 4 Court Street, Village of Delta, Rideau Lakes Township.