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The Byce Carding Mill. Grant
Settlement road at Broome Road
Take Foresters Falls road east out of the village until you
come to the first intersection.
Turn North onto the Grant
Settlement Road and proceed 3.7k until you come to the "Broome Road"
intersection to the right. This intersection was the site of the carding mill
and the stream can be seen crossing the road from the south.
History (Excerpts from the writings of Elizabeth Byce
MacDonald, 1894 - 1976)
Henry Byce was born near Brockville, at Lynn. After the
death of his first wife, he married Malena Coleman and moved to Westmeath. Some
time after the birth of their child, Norman (November I7th I849) they moved to
Ross Township and took up 160 acres of land. He dammed a small stream and
flooded 60 acres to make a pond to create water power which he generated by
causing the water to flow over a smaller dam on to a 30 ft. waterfall.
The ruins of the old mill and the giant water wheel which
power it were all hand made, even to the wooden screws and gears used in the
mill, The mill remained for many years, even after it fell into disuse, and a
piece of the mill resides in the Ross Museum grounds.
Farmers brought their sheeps wool to be carded and
made into small rolls to be spun with spinning wheel into yarn from which they
made clothing. Often wool was brought back to the mill for dyeing and home
woven flannel was brought back for ?fulling?. It was put through great vats of
suds and then dried; hanging on hooks, then pressed into folds with sheets of
hot iron, and finally folded in to webs of sixty yards. Farmers came great
distances, even from across the river, for fifty miles or more, with loads of
wool to be processed.
Henry Byce was widely known because of his mill business and
he was also a very skillful doctor. He made medicine from herbs and he was sent
for in cases of illness and patients were also brought to him. He set many
bones, sewed up cuts, lanced infected sores and never lost a patient. On one
occasion, a man had a bullet lodged in his leg with a piece of leather and
their bedroom became a hospital for five weeks. Dr. Byce also had a small
potash manufacturing business. (top)