Old Ontario Mill


An old mill stands at the edge of town

inviting stories of long ago,

when harvested grains were locally ground,

and turbines powered by water flow.


As I stand by the rushing creek,

and train my gaze on the sturdy mill,

I hear the rushing waters speak

of days gone by before all stood still.


Lost in halls of childhood hours,

recalling memories of weekend drives,

to a country mill for sacks of flour,

to mix, knead and leave to rise.


How quickly old traditions fade

Each generation sees changes unfurl

Yet old stone mills endure and stay,

Solid reminders of an older world.


I wrote this poem in response to The Secretkeeper Weekly Writing Prompt #31 (prompt words: Town, Train, Fade, Hear, Hall). The mill at the edge of town is shown in the above photo, taken in February. After I wrote the poem I discovered that the notion that it was a flour mill was pure fantasy on my part.  Though there are many old flour mills across Ontario, Babcock Mill was built in 1856 for grist planing and making baskets!

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6 thoughts on “Old Ontario Mill

  1. I love old mills. I don’t think many people realize how many different types of mills there were or how important they were to life and the economy of particular areas (or how important water power was).
    Beautiful, evocative poem. (And funny that you made up a story, but it was really a different type of mill.) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am definitely one of those people who was unaware of the role of small stone mills as places of industry. Some flour mills continue(d) in operation and my mind latched onto that 🙂 it’s unfortunate that there is not more info about my local mill floating around–when there is less mud I ‘ll look for a plaque.


      1. Oh, cool. I hope you find more info. I think perhaps there may be some flour mills in operation because people are interested now in artisanal baking and using freshly milled flours.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Well done!
    I love seeing buildings like this that have survived. I know it’s often asking too much that they continue to function as they did in the past, but it’s nice to have them as reminders of that past.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like to fantasize that they could install a micro-hydro system there to generate electricity…but I don’t have any expertise… Also would be nice to have a look inside. I’m not ‘from’ this area so I don’t know the background stories–like you I am glad that many of these mills are still here for us to see and ‘remember’.

      Liked by 1 person

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