Waterhouse Woollen Mill

Waterhouse Woollen Mill
Waterhouse Woollen Mill

above, historical postcards depicting a mill in Ingersoll, Ontario.  Formerly located on the north side of Charles Street, 1 east of Mutual Street at the narrows of Carroll’s Mill Pond.

The Woolen Mills Knitting Factory was one of the oldest and most important manufacturing establishments in town.  The mill was built of yellow brick by Mr. Park, in 1846 on Charles St. E, on the north side.  James Waterhouse and Fred Bradbury were in partnership for several years and later James’ son, T. Waterhouse took over with Fred Bradbury.  In 1906, Bradbury sold out to Waterhouse, who also purchased the house and the clothing business from E. F. Waterhouse.  The firm did a large business m the sale of woolen goods.  A new line of untearable tweeds was in great demand.  Most of the raw materials were imported from New Zealand, it being of superior grade as compared to the Canadian article.  About 15 people were employed at this plant which was thoroughly equipped with in best machinery to produce a high grade good at a minimum cost.  The mill received power from the large Carroll’s Pond, just behind the mill, which was fed from race water diverted from the Thames River at the Upper Dam, about a mile and a half east of the village.  Mr. Waterhouse leased the property to Penman’s Textiles in the late 1940s.  In 1953 to March 1968, Shelby Knit leased the factory to make men’s and boy’s sweaters etc.  When Shelby Knit moved to London, the Ingersoll factory fell badly in state and disrepair.  The building was condemned and the ponds filled with dirt and the flow of water cut off.  It was demolished in 1976‑77 to make way for a new future shopping mall.

excerpt from Ingersoll: our heritage by Harry Whitwell

postcards courtesy of Mr. George Wood

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