Previous Pioneers of Ontario (1923) Next

 

UP BRUCE AND HURON WAY   259

grain to that mill. The grist was carried on jumpers and usually only two or three bags were taken at a time. One day was spent in going to the mill, the grain was ground at night and the return journey made next day.

"When we took our grist to the mill," Mr. McDonald went on, "we spent the night at a log tavern while waiting for it to be ground. We climbed a ladder in going upstairs to bed, and, when in bed, the roof was just above our heads. In the morning the ceiling was coated with frost where the cold air had come in contact with the warm air exhaled from the men's lungs. Our cow-hide boots, in which we tramped through slush in going to the mill, would also be found frozen as hard as bricks, and we had to thaw them at the stove before we could put them on."

Patrick Cummings, when warden of the County of Bruce, told me the following story of "the religious mill." "The `religious mill' was the Shantz mill at Port Elgin, operated by a man named Leader. The miller refused to run a minute after twelve o'clock on Saturday night. On one occasion, during a period of special pressure, a helper in the mill proposed to run right through the last night in the week in order to catch up. A man who happened to be present at the time, for a joke on the helper, put some wet grain in the hopper as the clock was nearing the midnight hour. Exactly on the stroke of twelve the wet grain struck the stones and the mill stopped dead.

" `I told you,' said the joker, `this was a religious mill and would not, under any circumstances, run on Sunday.' "


Previous Pioneers of Ontario (1923) Next