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Vittoria Conservation Area

A cairn at the entrance to the Vittoria Conservation Area reads:

The Vittoria Mill

This monument marks the general location of one of Vittoria's first and longest operating mill sites. In the early days of settlement, the establishment of communities was contingent upon harnessing power from a steady water source such as this one, to grind flour for bread and to saw timber for building materials. To this end, United Empire Loyalist John Gustin made his way here from New Jersey after the American Revolutionary War. Attracted like many others by glowing stories of the virgin territory around Long Point Bay and Norfolk County, he expressed interest in land in these parts to Lieutenant Governor John Graves Simcoe. He received a recommendation for a lot in 1796, subsequently moved his family to this area and received title to these lands in 1798. Between 1805 and 1810, John built a saw and grist mill on this property to provide for the growing community. In time, its operation passed to his two sons, who sold it in 1821 to Mathew H. Tisdale.

In 1847, a new and more elaborate mill and distillery, standing an impressive five stroeys tall, was erected here by Henry Anderson. In the ensuing years, it was owned, leased and rented by many others who maintained its operation. In 1909, however, it was destroyed by fire and a nearby outbuilding that survived was moved to the newly vacant site and converted into a much smaller mill. It was purchased by Meno Neal, then by George Schram and finally by Elwood Smith in 1919. The mill remained in the Smith family to the end of its days, ceasing operation forever in 1952.

In 1957, the Smith family sold the mill, the mill pond and the adjacent property to the Big Creek Conservation Authority. Dismantiling of the structure began in May, 1959 and the foundation remained until 1964, when it was removed during the construction of the new dam.

Erected by the Heritage committee of the Vittoria & District Foundation."

Places to Explore

Backhouse Heritage Conservation Area
Hillman Marsh
Long Point Provincial Park
Point Pelee National Park
Port Burwell Provincial Park
Rock Point Provincial Park
Ruthven Park, National Historic Site
Taquanyah Conservation Area
Vittoria Conservation Area
Wintering Site, National Historic Site

Ontario Towns and Cities

Long Point, Ontario
Normandale, Ontario
Port Dover, Ontario
Port Maitland, Ontario
Port Rowan, Ontario
Port Ryerse, Ontario
Port Stanley, Ontario
Turkey Point, Ontario
Vittoria, Ontario
Waterford, Ontario
York, Ontario

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