Darnley Grist Mill
Named after Lord Darnley of Scotland, a famous ancestor of James Crooks, the Darnley grist mill was constructed between 1811 and 1813. The mill was made of stone from a quarry near Morden’s mills downstream. Originally, the building was square and three stories high.
A nine meter-high overshot waterwheel was mounted on the outside wall beside Spencer Creek. Water was drawn over the wheel to power the mill. Inside the building were four sets of grindstones used for feed and flour production.
After Crooks’ death in 1860, the mill was sold to James Stutt and Robert Sanderson who converted it to a paper mill. After Stutt bought out Sanderson in 1880, he added a steam boiler to heat water for papermaking and to have an alternate power source. On July 9, 1885 the boiler exploded, causing much damage and killing two men.
While leased to the Greensville Paper Company in 1930’s, the wooden floors were replaced by concrete. In 1943 the mill was gutted by fire and left in ruins.
James Crook was involved in many business ventures, including the development of several industries along Spencer Creek and Crooks Hollow Road. A small commmunity formed , and by 1850, Crooks Hollow was one of the largest industrial areas in Upper Canada. Businesses operated by Crooks included a gin distillery, a general store, a cooperage, a sawmill and a linseed oil company. The eventual downfall of Crooks Hollow came when the railways bypassed this once thriving business center. These ruins and the creek are all that remain for the ghost hunters of all hollows eve to seek.
A Canon EOS 5D MkII with a Canon 8-15mm L-series lens set at 15mm was used on a Manfrotto 303SPH head. The spherical panorama was stitched together with PTGui Pro. This panorama was shot with available light at 1/250 second @ f8 in RAW mode with an ISO of 400 on the Canon EOS 5D MkII. I processed all of the images in the RAW conversion software Adobe Camera Raw 7.1.3.
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