Woollen Mills inglis falls advertisement
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Kate Jackson - Archives

Advertising the Woollen Mill at Inglis Falls

Kate Jackson - Archives

On June 7th, Grey Roots Museum & Archives hosted the annual Ontario Handspinning Seminar. As part of this event, Grey Roots’ Collections Manager, Sim Salata, offered a presentation about the history of woollen mills in Grey County. As a complement to her talk, an item from the Archival Collection was also displayed; PF248S1F1I42, part of the J.H. Little Collection, is a paper poster, [c. 1868], approximately 57 cm x 46 cm, promoting services offered by the woollen mill at Inglis Falls, located in the former Derby Township, Grey County.

Unfortunately, the text of the poster is no longer fully readable, though an advertisement for the woollen mill at Inglis Falls appearing in a May 1868 issue of The Owen Sound Advertiser gives us a glimpse at a contemporary example:

Woollen Mills, Inglis’ Falls / The subscriber wishes to inform the inhabitants of Owen Sound and surrounding country, that having leased / for a term of years, the premises known as INGLIS’S CARDING MILLS, and having added considerable / NEW & IMPROVED MACHINERY / He is now prepared to do / Roll Carding, Carding and Spinning, Weaving, / Dyeing, Fulling and Cloth Dressing. / On the shortest notice and most reasonable terms. Parties wishing to have their WOOL manufactured into / YATN [sic], CLOTHS, FLANNELS OR BLANKETS / Can have it done to order at very moderate prices. / CLOTH EXCHANGED FOR WOOL ON REASONABLE TERMS. / No pains or expense will be spared to give entire satisfaction to all who bring their wool to this establishment. / SILAS HEVERLEY. / OWEN SOUND, May 14, 1868.[1]

According to Dorthea Deans, “The first woolen mill [at Inglis Falls] […] was built by Mr. Peter Inglis, but rented and operated by Heverley and Chase.”[2] Newspaper advertisements in The Owen Sound Advertiser in 1869 and 1870 seem to reflect this with both Heverley and Chase named in advertisements from these years, such as the following from The Owen Sound Advertiser in January 1870:

WOOLLEN MILLS, INGLIS’ FALLS / The subscribers, in returning their sincere thanks to their numerous customers for the very liberal patronage / extended to them in their line of business during the past year, beg to intimate that they are now prepared / to do / ROLL CARDING, CARDING AND SPINNING, / WEAVING, DYEING, FULLING AND CLOTH DRESSING, / the shortest notice and most reasonable terms. They would also say that parties wishing to exchange / Wool for Cloth, can have it home with them the same day, as they have on hand a large and good supply / of / Canadian Tweeds, Full Cloths, Blankets & Flannels / And will still continue to manufacture anything in the above line. The Highest Market Price will be / allowed to all parties wishing to sell or exchange their Wool with us. Call and examine our stock before going elsewhere. / Heverley & Chase. / Owen Sound, [unreadable].[3]

The Inglis Falls mill was not alone in trying to capture the attention of those with wool to process or sell; other woollen mills advertising in the late 1860s included Northern Woolen Mills of Clarksburg,[4] The Owen Sound Mills,[5] and the Meaford Steam Woollen Mills,[6] while Wm. Kennedy & Sons, Sydenham Foundry and Machine Shop offered wool carding equipment for sale.[7]

These ads not only allow us to learn about the types of services offered by businesses and entrepreneurs (and their marketing strategies), but also point to the role of wool production and processing as a historic part of Grey County’s economy.

[1] Owen Sound Advertiser, May 28, 1868.

[2] Dorthea Deans, “Inglis Falls’ Mill Oldest Surviving Industry in District: Eighty-Nine Years Operation In Family Name is Record Of The Picturesque Inglis Mill”, Daily Sun-Times (Owen Sound, ON), Mar. 3, 1934.

[3] Owen Sound Advertiser, Jan. 20, 1870.

[4] Owen Sound Advertiser, May 28, 1868.

[5] Owen Sound Advertiser, June 10, 1869.

[6] Meaford Monitor and St. Vincent, Euphrasia and Collingwood Journal, April 23, 1869.

[7] Owen Sound Advertiser, Dec. 3, 1868.

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