Alton Knitting Mill

Location: Alton

Status: Converted into Millcroft Inn & Spa

Waypoint: Google Map

Summary: Beginning in the 1840s, several frame mills operated on this site, harnessing the power of Shaw's Creek to produce yarn and blankets. in 1881 Benjamin Ward built a substantial four-storey stone mill - The Alton Knitting Mill - which would eventually become The Millcroft Inn.

Ward's son-in-law, John M. Dods, purchased the mill, commonly know as the "Upper Mill," in 1892. The Ward and Dods mill (later Dods Knitting Mill) became a nationally-known competitor of the Stanfield company, producing woollen long underwear, a valuable commodity in the days before central heating. During World War I, thousands of Canadian and British troops were kept warm with Dods products. Owner John Dods was a leading citizen of Alton, known for this generous treatment of employees and involvement in charitable works. In 1965, the mill ceased production and the contents of the building were sold.

However, history was not finished with the property on the millpond in Alton. The natural beauty of the site and the rugged stone mill became a focus for tourism development in the region. The original stone mill is now the the Millcroft Inn, which uses an advantageous location close to Toronto to serve both the corporate meetings market as well as leisure guests - attracted by beautiful rooms, exquisite cuisine, award-winning Spa and the spectacular natural beauty of its surroundings.

The dinning romm and dam

Old mill ruin