⇒ The Beginnings — 1846

William and Sarah Ratcliff moved from Essex, England in 1846 and purchased 140 acres at this location which includes from the corner of Kennedy Road going east: Present day Springvale Baptist Church, the two houses on either side of us and Century Mill Lumber which included the field next to it. the property line went as far south as the tree line. Howard and Don Ratcliff were the last Ratcliffs to live in the two houses between us. Century Mill is still operated by family members.

 Century Mill Lumber — 1851 to Present  (taken from: centurymill.com )

Originally, the site was a 140-acre farm, but also possessed one important ingredient- a tributary of the Rouge River.
So in 1851, a water-powered sawmill was built to serve the local communities. Later, the family installed a large single cylinder diesel engine. It was added to augment the dwindling water supply.

In 1981, this diesel engine along with the log-carriage, was donated to the Markham Museum (located at Hwy. 7 & 48 in Markham, ON). During the summer months, you may find this engine being operated at one of their special events. In 1982, the Mill was hit by lightning. (So now you know why the previous paragraph was inserted. You can now say, “…wasn’t that a lucky move!) All that remains now is the water turbine (as it was located underground). Over the past 160 years, Century Mill Lumber has had different names and performed different functions. However, it still remains a family owned business. One thing has remained constant- we still sell lumber.

 

The Beginning -- 1846
Century Mill Lumber — 1851 to Present