1953-12-26 Page 13
Mill Erected In 1879 Near Pincher
Historical Landmark Being Taken Down
By BETTY LYNCH-STAUNTON
PINCHER CREEK-- The McLaren mill house, a land-mark of the early days in the Mountain Mill district is being torn down. Situated on the banks of Mill Creek, eight miles west of here, the grist and saw mill was established in 1879 by the federal government to encourage the growing of crops and the use of lumber by the Indians.
The mill was built of stone and logs and equipped with machinery, freighted in by way of the Missouri river to Fort Benton, Montana, and then hauled overland to the site. Some time in 1881 the mill was sold to Senator McLaren, who engaged W. R. Lees of Fallbrook. Ont. as manager, early in 1882.
RESIDING at the mill at that time were William Gladstone and his family, a Mr. Keen and J. Kelly his assistant, and the cook, Ed Baronet, a former member of the R.N.W.M.P. During the year 1882, much lumber was contracted for and hauled away by string teams to pints as far away as Lethbridge, Fort Macleod and other points.
Many early homes and other buildings were erected out of lumber and logs brought from McLaren's mill.
IN THE ATTIC of the old house now being torn down by its present owner Fred Link there was found an account book setting forth mill operations for the year No. 1888 to Dec. 1890.
A study of the book reveals many names of early settlers and ranches, which figured prominently in Southern Alberta history.
Among these Col. Macleod of Mounted Police fame; Haultain, who later became chief Justice; Lord Boyle, Alberta ranch, Stewart ranch, Hatfield ranch, the L. G. Baker Company, The Northwest Coal and Navigation Company, Alberta Petroleum and Land Development Company, Fort Macleod Dramatic Society, Roman Catholic, Anglican, Presbyterian and Methodist churches of Pincher Creek.
MANY pioneer names are recalled after reading the postings-- A. E. Cox, Pincher Creek's first school teacher; William Gladstone, an early day Hudson's Bay Company employee, who served at Norway House, Moose and York Factories; Pete McEwan, a N.W.M.P. driver and skilful axe man; Lebel and Kettles, pioneer merchants; H. E. Hyde, the first banker; A. M. Morden, the first white family to settle here; Alfred Pelletier, Duthie, Le Grandeur, Schoening, Bradtke, Dr. Meade and Dr. Kennedy, Godsal, A. H. Lynch-Staunton, Charlie Smith, George Ives, and many other, all ranchers, who settled here in the early 80s.
A TOTAL of 320 names are listed, proof the many settlers in this district at that time. A variety of methods in making payment were resorted to in addition to cash. Accounts were settled by services rendered, medical attention, as well by deliveries of hay, steers, butter, potatoes, and pork.
The McLaren Mill ceased operations after being flooded out in 1902. A horse and cattle ranch, operated in connection with the mill was sold to a Mr. Puchin of Montreal in 1907. Running on the ranch at this time were 300 head of horses in addition to many hun- ......
Extracted by J. Kynman 2015-02-13