Self-Guided Tours — Foresters Falls

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Drew Bulmer, 3rd, Old Grist Mill, Foresters Falls. The Grist Mill at Foresters Falls

Submitted by Drew Bulmer. Picture thanks to V A May, daughter of S. J. May.


At the East end of Foresters Falls village, looking North from the bridge over McNaughtons Creek


This mill was built in 1888 by William McLeese, an early settler and millwright. Situated just below the waterfall, the mill was run on waterpower. Water from McNaughton's Creek, known as the Pond, flowed over the dam and ran through a flume to where it turned the water wheel which powered the mill to grind the grain.

Robert Gardiner bought the mill from William McLeese. In 1904 he sold it to Samuel J May who ran it for 40 years. After his death in 1943, his wife sold it to William G. Pettigrew. The mill burned down twice and was rebuilt. When it burned for the third time in the late 1940's it was not rebuilt.

While S.J. May owned the mill he employed several men, Wm. Howard, Andrew Pettigrew, Hugh Byce, Jack Herron and Harry Jack. There were no fires or accidents during that time. He operated it as a flour and grist mill until after 1916 when western wheat became more popular for flour than that made from our local wheat. The flour machinery was then converted into that for seed cleaning and for grinding grain. Farmers hauled their grain to be ground into feed for their livestock, horses, cows, pigs and poultry.

Though there was a stone foundation, the mill itself was made of wood. About 1944 the mill burned down. It was rebuilt but was again burned. It was never rebuilt. It seems sad that this old landmark of Forester's Falls is gone forever. (top)