TOUR STOP 3: Seeley's Bay Saw Mill (Hartley's) - 136 Mill St.

Seeley’s Bay Saw Mill

Unlike many villages along the Rideau Canal Seeley’s Bay did not benefit from active water power and as a result had no mill until 1869 when Solomon Haskin and Delorma Phillips began operating a steam sawmill on the west side of Bay St. near the bay.  It operated for a few years during the 1870’s at the corner of Mill Street and Bay Road before being destroyed by fire.

It was purchased by David Collinson and a new mill was built on a lot on the north side of Mill 1877. It operated until Collinson’s untimely death in a mill accident in 1888. His widow, Margaret, sold the mill to brothers, William F. and George W. Bracken and Alva Chapman.

Chapman, who had worked in sawmills in Michigan, rebuilt the mill in the winter of 1893 from which time it operated under the management of William F Bracken. In 1895 a building previously used for public meetings was moved to the mill property and converted to a provender/feed mill and a coal shed built on the north side of the mill next the to steamboat wharf. This mill was operated by Andrew Jackson who lived on the upper floor of the building. In 1906 Jackson purchased the property known as the Brickyard on the south side of Mill St. where he built a storehouse.

Under William F. Bracken’s management the mill prospered. Bracken acquired the Gilbert carriage works and entered into an agreement with the Albert Neal Brick and Tile Company to form the Seeley’s Bay Supply and Construction Company. In 1908 William F. Bracken purchased his partners’ shares in the mill and two years later he acquired Jackson’s provender/feed mill when Jackson departed to western Canada.

In November 1910 William F. Bracken’s 15 year old son, Howard, was accidently shot by his brother while hunting ducks on the bay in front of the mill. In 1912, William F. Bracken sold the mill to Charles W. Hartley. Charles and his sons, John and Norman, operated the mill for over fifty years.  It was destroyed by fire in 1947 and since it was such a viable operation for the community, it was immediately rebuilt the following year.  

In 1962 the Veenlo Lumber Co. operated the mill on a lease arrangement until it was levelled by fire in 1964.

Seeley's Bay Heritage Walking Tour - 130 Mill Street
  1. TOUR STOP 2: Seeley's Bay Wharf and the Rideau Queen - 130 Mill St.
  2. TOUR STOP 3: Seeley's Bay Saw Mill (Hartley's) - 136 Mill St.
  3. TOUR STOP 4: The Plane Crash - 130 Mill St.
  4. TOUR STOP 5: Horse Racing and Ice Cutting on the Bay
  5. TOUR STOP 6: The Dr. Christie House - 148 Mill St.
  6. TOUR STOP 7: The National Hotel - 160 Main St.
  7. TOUR STOP 8: The Brown House- Bootlegger - 179 Main St.
  8. TOUR STOP 9: Home of John Bracken - 172 Main St.
  9. TOUR STOP 10: The Hotchkiss House Murder - 196 Main St.
  10. TOUR STOP 11: Coleman's Hotel - 152 Main St.
  11. TOUR STOP 12: Dr. Gardiner House- presently Ridgway Confections - 159 Main St.
  12. TOUR STOP 13: The Bank - 148 Main St.
  13. TOUR STOP 14: Stage Coach Depot/ George Cheetham's Blacksmith Shop - 103 Bracken St.
  14. TOUR STOP 15: Kelly’s Fresh Mart formerly Sweets - 144 Main St.
  15. TOUR STOP 16: St. Peter's Anglican Church - 155 Main St.
  16. TOUR STOP 17: Dr. Bowen's House -145 Main Street
  17. TOUR STOP 18: Seeley's Bay Masonic Hall - 108 Adelaide St.
  18. TOUR STOP 19: Seeley's Bay United Church - 129 Hellen St.
  19. TOUR STOP 20 - A. Neal and Son, Brick and Tile Co. Circa 1900 - 109 Hellen St.
  20. TOUR STOP 21: A.J. Sly's Furniture and Undertaking - 140 Main St.
  21. TOUR STOP 22: Gilbert Carriage Works - 129 Main St.
  22. TOUR STOP 23: Gilt Edge Cheese Factory - 118 Main St.
  23. TOUR STOP 24: Sunny Acres- The Ashery - 119 Haskins Point Rd.
  24. TOUR STOP 25: Haskins Point - 148 Haskins Point Rd.