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Dalton Mills

Introduction

Town site photo

A wooden cross in the cemetery

©Copyright: Jeri Danyleyko

Dalton Mills was built by the Austin & Nicholson Lumber Company to expand on the success of their busy in Nicholson. The new mill was conveniently located near the railway facilities at Dalton and a small spur line was added connecting the yards to the station.

The mill included a dam, sawdust burner, planning mills, machine shop and a cookhouse. A two-story, 100-room boarding house was hurriedly erected to house the workers. The mill was so successful that the town site quickly grew to include 36 additional dwellings, company store, butcher shop, post office, two churches and a school. Recreational facilities included a baseball diamond, theatre, and later a community centre with bowling lanes and pool tables, and an ice cream parlour. By 1930, over 600 residents lived on site.

The mill continued to thrive throughout the depression. In 1939 it was struck by fire, but was promptly rebuilt. However employees were not so lucky 10 years later, when the mill was consumed by a second fire. With timber already depleted, the company decided to close the mill and move on to greener forests. By 1951, Dalton Mills was finished.

Today there are still substantial remains of the mill. Unfortunately little is left of the town site, other than a small cemetery, the Austin residence and the collapsed remains of the hotel.