One of the greatest pleasures I get out of writing this blog is connecting with like-minded individuals, and receiving pleasant surprises in response to my musings.
Back in early May, I put out the call for information about the Hammond Mill in St. Williams. In particular, I hoped to find a photograph of it.
Well, regular reader Mike Livingston came through: I received a a photograph from him (thanks again, Mike!) and it encouraged me to doodle an alternate arrangement for St. Williams. Unfortunately, Mike was not able to obtain permission from his source for me to share it here.
However, another regular reader, Monte Reeves, also took up the quest for a photo of the Hammond Mill. And in today’s post, I received an 8×10 glossy of the mill and environs, plus a nice note from Monte:
Bill Hammond gave me a copy for you and you may publish it on the website – it is yours, courtesy Bill Hammond
And what a photo it is:
The photo was taken from the south side of Queen Street. The mainline to Port Rowan would’ve crossed the road at an angle just to the right of this scene and running towards the photographer. (The St. Williams station is a half-mile east of this scene.)
The Hammond Mill is the barn structure at right. A one-story lean-to office is attached to west side. While the east end of the mill is cropped out of the photo, the end of the roof can clearly be seen, which suggests there’s not much of the mill out of the frame. That gives me a good idea of the overall size of the structure.
Another barn structure – possibly just a barn – is behind the mill, and the spur track that served the mill would’ve been in the space between them.
In addition to the mill, this scene also includes a service station with a lovely twin-pump island and “B/A” (British American Oil) sign, plus what appears to be an insulbrick-clad garage behind.
Finally, there’s what appears to be a stucco-clad, one-storey house at left.
Mike Livingston was able to obtain some historical information about the property, which I will paraphrase here:
Apparently the property started out as a “Jam Factory” (which is referenced in this online article). The Hammonds purchased the property and converted it to a feed mill, adding the white addition on the west side as an office. The building went up in flames in the early 1960s (a note on the photo Monte provided says “Burnt 1962”) and was replaced by a smaller, one-story building.
Apparently, the mill building was so close to the road that if you did not pull right up, your rear bumper would be over the road. The colour of the main mill building might be red, similar to the St. Williams train station.
My thanks to Bill Hammond for letting me share this image, and to Monte for obtaining the photo and permission. Thanks also to Mike for obtaining another, similar photo – and for providing the background information. The info and image have filled in a major piece of the puzzle for me and plugged a hole on this blog. As a result, I will definitely have to do more doodling to determine whether I can fit this scene into my layout.
If I can, it’ll require a fair bit of rebuilding on this side of the room but that will make for a great, major project – once I’ve finished the structures at Port Rowan.