The Gore Mills

Joseph Spencer came with his family from New Jersey and settled at Stamford, near Lundy’s Lane.  His son, Joseph Spencer Jr., came to Dundas and purchased land along what is now known as Spencer Creek, where the area exits the gorge.  In 1834, he built a grist mill on The Gore Road (now King Street West), which was appropriately named; the Gore Grist Mill.  His first mill was small, only one run of stone, but a second run was added about 1840, and two more by 1848.  In 1851, Spencer built a second mill next to the grist mill to make newsprint and wrapping paper; James McMicking was hired to operate both of them. Spencer died that same year as he fell from one of his buildings whilst making repairs during a thunderstorm.  The works were sold to Robert Spence, who continued to employ McMicking and another man, Mr. Anderson, to run them.  In 1855, the paper mill was destroyed by fire, but it was re-built and, in 1862, it was producing 80 tons each of newsprint and wrapping paper. Spence sold the operations to John Fisher in 1863.  John closed the grist mill portion and converted the whole mill to paper manufacture.  Gore Mills made newsprint, carpet, felt, paper and wrapping paper.  The mill operated day and night when there was a good supply of water in the creek.  John’s son, John A. Fisher, joined the company and, in 1867, became the sole owner.  He started milling flour again, employing 24 more men.  Later, three more of John’s sons joined the business: Christopher in 1871, and Frank and William in 1879.

By 1929, the mill was torn down to make room for the Dundas District school, on land donated by the Fisher family.


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