Frequently people ask about Cornwall’s historic wind mill and whether or not it was located at Windmill Point (now the site of St. Lawrence College.)
The wind mill was not located at Windmill Point, but rather a few blocks east on a hill. A memorial plaque adorns the east exterior wall of the former St. Felix de Valois School, which is now the Windmill Apartments, directly north of the former mill. Residential houses occupy the actual site of the mill today.
When Cornwall was first settled by the United Empire Loyalists in 1784, it was not practical to build water-powered mills due to the fact that they would have been destroyed by massive sheets of river ice in the January and Spring thaws, so two mills were erected outside of the Square Mile Town, one to the east and the other to the west.
The mill under discussion was a grist mill constructed in 1800. In 1838 it had outlived its usefulness as a mill and was converted to a block house by February of the following year, which proved useful during the Upper and Lower Canada Rebellions, but not beyond. The “fort’s” day books make mention of the place being known as “Fort Augustus”. It was turned over to the Township as a small park, stabilized by the SD&G Historical Society and ultimately demolished by the Township in the summer of 1944, then being viewed as a safety hazard for youth playing there.
The structure was about 35 feet high and 25 feet in diameter. Throughout this post are a series of photos of Fort Augustus. The images are quite different; can you spot the differences and comment as to why that is? More next week.
Images courtesy of SD&G Historical Society.
A friendly reminder that my sessions on historic Cornwall begin this coming Monday; please check it out and, if interested, register with Encore: http://encoreseniors.ca/program.html
Also, I have a growing series on the 40+ historic Cornwall Township neighbourhoods which became annexed to Cornwall in 1957. I invite you to have a look at the following link: https://cornwallcommunitymuseum.wordpress.com/cornwall-historic-neighbourhoods/ and message or e-mail me with any photos you may have to share about people, places and organizations form our collective past: [email protected] . If the photos are shared here and/or online I’m happy to give you credit.