The Nineteenth Century - Part 2

Another of Moulinette's early pioneers was John Gray Goodall Snetsinger. Born in 1833, he was reportedly a bright and precocious child who began studying commerce at an early age. His first venture was a general store that rapidly grew into flour mill. Then he added a wood yard that supplied wood to river transports, farms and the construction industries. An interest in politics brought him to the Ontario Legislature, where sat from 1871 to 1879. He moved on to Ottawa in 1896, where he served in the first Laurier government. In 1902 he donated a chancel, a sanctuary and five memorial windows for Christ Church. He was also instrumental in successfully lobbying for small Grand Trunk railway station for Moulinette. The mercantile business he began in the centre of Moulinette so many years earlier lasted until the very end.

Grist MillGrist mill on the dam [ca. 1870] owned by J.G. Snetsinger

Unlike the neighbouring village of Mille Roches, the Cornwall Canal immediately brought growth and prosperity to Moulinette. By the 1890s there were two mills on the north side of the river; John G. Snetsinger's grist mill, operated by William Ellis and a sawmill owned by another John Snetsinger, who was distantly related to the first. The McGillis Brothers, Alexander and Martin, built flour and saw mills to replace the lost woollen mills. Following the deaths of the McGillis Brothers in the late 1920s, the mills were disassembled and rebuilt in Aultsville where they enjoyed a second life.

In addition to the mills, Moulinette also boasted two hotels, the Lion and the Pea Green, two general stores, two wharves, a cheese factory and a school. The Pea Green, named for its colour, contained a 'ball room' of sorts and was a popular place for social gatherings. H.C. Phillips owned a tavern and Henry Harrison, a store. With the opening of George McDonald's post office in 1874, residents no longer had to travel to Mille Roches to pick up their mail. Before the railway station was built, mail was delivered daily from the post office at Mille Roches by horse and buggy. In later years, the blacksmith's shops were converted to garages.

Moulinette's wharves were normally busy places. Steamers would arrive regularly to take on wood, from J.G. Snetsinger's wood yard, for their boilers. There was one other building on the wharf that was used both for freight storage and housing for the caretaker. Another wharf, used for loading and unloading of freight, was built near the east side of the village.