Burritts Rapids Dam


Lot 5, Concession 1

Historical Background

The remains of the dam across the Rideau River at Burritts Rapids is designated as being of historic and architectural value. The timber and cut stone masonry of the weir are all that remain of the dam, which is the last vestige of the milling industry, that was instrumental in the establishment of Burritts Rapids. During the late nineteenth century the dam provided water power for a cloth mill, grist mill, shingle mill and saw mill. Daniel Burritt built the first saw mill on the Rideau River in the early nineteenth century, which turned out enough lumber to build many houses in the community. Frame houses eventually replaced the earlier log cabins in the area. Lumber from the mill was also rafted downstream to Ottawa for construction of many of its first buildings.

In 1830, Terrance Smith of Smiths Falls built a three-storey frame building known as the Grist Mill. Smith sold his mill to John Strachan French in 1840. In 1885, the mill was sold to Thomas and Henry Dell and they in turn sold it to T.A. Kidd in 1892. The mill ground grain for local farmers. Eventually, it fell into disuse and the building was torn down in 1951.

Alexander Kerr built a three-storey stone woolen mill across the river in 1850. It produced yarn, socks, mitts and blankets and prospered during both World Wars, producing supplies for the Canadian military. In December 1950, this mill which was the last survivor of the village’s pioneer industrial past, was destroyed by fire.

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    Municipality of North Grenville

    285 County Road #44, PO Box 130
    Kemptville, ON
    K0G 1J0


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