The Delta Mill Society got its start in 1963, when the last individual owner of the Old Stone Mill (built in 1810), Hastings Steele, deeded the mill, for the sum of $1.00, to four trustees; Albert Frye, Elizabeth Robinson, Mildred Sweet and Robert Tuck. These trustees in turn became the original founders of The Delta Mill Society. In 1972 the Society was incorporated as a Non-profit Corporation in the Province of Ontario.
The focus of the society has been the preservation of the main building and the creation and operation of the mill as a museum. The mandate of the museum is to "show through exhibits and artifacts, how the grist mill was one of the most important elements when Delta was first settled, and to research the evolution of the communities served by the mill. There will be emphasis on the establishment of the industries of the area, and the changing patterns of economic activity in response to various influences, especially technology, up to 1900."
The society is very active, operating the museum in the summer months and participating in several local events. The main focus of the society for the last decade has been to fully restore the Old Stone Mill to operating condition. Working millstones ground the first grain in 100 years on the 200th anniversary of Old Stone Mill in 2010.
Old Stone Mill National Historic Site
With all the sights and sounds of a two hundred year old gristmill, a visit to Delta's stone landmark, the Old Stone Mill National Historic Site, will take visitors back in time. Now equipped with operating milling machinery, a turning water wheel, and three storeys of exhibitions, the Old Stone Mill National Historic Site is a true destination for both residents and tourists in the Township of Rideau Lakes. Visitors to the mill can try catching the "big one" with the fishing simulator or try grinding grain like early pioneers with a hand quern. And of course a visit to the Old Stone Mill National Historic Site would not be complete without admiring the early industrial architecture of this gorgeous Georgian structure, both outside and in.
The Old Stone Mill National Historic Site is owned and operated by the Delta Mill Society, a non-profit and charitable organization that has spent the last fifty years raising funds to restore and preserve this notable piece of Canadian heritage. Membership in the organization is available for just $20.00.
The mill is open for guided or self-guided tours daily between 10am and 5pm, Victoria Day weekend through Labour Day and by appointment in the off-season. Admission to the mill is by donation. The Delta Mill Society is also pleased to offer educational programs and special events throughout the year. For all the details on what's new at the mill, or for a complete list of upcoming event, please visit the Delta Mill Society website at www.deltamill.org.
This year put Delta's mill on your must do list! While visiting the mill, don't forget to explore Delta's other historical industries at the Delta Mill Society's Museum of Industrial Technology.