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Flashback Friday: Welbeck Mennonite Shingle Mill

Bentinck, Ontario

Leaving the Bruce Peninsula, I was slowly making my way to Niagara Falls where I was going to meet up with two friends. I still had several days and had no particular plan or route in mind, as is very typical for me when I'm road tripping. As I was driving south along Highway 6, I saw a sign advertising the Welbeck Mennonite Shingle Mill. I was totally intrigued, and decided that this would be a great little stop along my route. I followed the signs from Owen Sound for about a 30 minute drive to arrive at this charming water mill in the Township of Bentinck.

The original water mill was built in the late 1800s and provided milling services for all types of lumber needs, including planks, siding, and shingles. Multiple fires and economic downturns caused many changes in the fortunes of the sawmill over the years, but the mill and the business managed to survive all difficulties until November 1966 when a fire completely destroyed the water-powered mill.

The following year, federal funding for Canada's Centennial celebrations was used to build a new mill using diesel and electric power. In 1984, the water-powered Shingle Mill was restored.

Today the Shingle Mill continues to produce Ontario White Cedar shingles and offers tours and educational trips for visitors. It is free to visit.... perfect for the budget traveller.

I love discovering lesser-known things to explore by following road signs to some lovely local museum, park, or historical site. What little gems have you found by just following road signs? Do you have any tips to share?


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