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Historic Sites of Manitoba: Gregory’s Mill (RM of Riverside)

In 1883, John Gregory (c1828-1896) from Wingham, Ontario arrived in Manitoba and took up a homestead claim on 34-6-18 west of the Principal Meridian, in the Rural Municipality of Riverside. Near his home on the banks of the Souris River, Gregory constructed a three-storey stone mill, powered by river water held by an earthen dam, with a steam engine installed later as a backup during periods of low water. Working day and night, it provided flour for the settlers in the area, some coming as far as the United States to have their grain ground at the mill.

Gregory hoped the railroad would cross the Souris River by his mill. That did not happen. After recovering from setbacks, such as losing his first dam to spring floods, and after expensive renovations, such as the construction of a one-kilometre-long millrace and improved capacity, he eventually abandoned the mill some time between 1893 and 1895. Gradually over time, the mill building was destroyed by the elements and vandalism. Just a few piles of rocks were left by the 1950s. The large flat rock used as a doorstep, with the name of Gregory’s sons carved in it, was retrieved from the site by Arthur Bund of Nesbitt and was displayed in Minnewawa Cemetery. A mill gear is displayed at the Sipiweske Museum in Wawanesa.

All that remains at the site are a few remnants of foundations hidden in dense bush, and the overgrown millrace, a ditch about two metres deep and over a kilometre in length, also overgrown, but unmistakably man-made.

Gregory's Mill

The remains of Gregory’s Mill (no date)
Source: McKee Archives, Lawrence Stuckey Collection, 1-2002.3.9.175.

Gregory's Mill

A view overlooking the Gregory’s Mill site from a hill to the northwest. The mill was about 20 metres up the bank at the right side of the photo, facing the small islands (no date)
Source: Ken Storie

Gregory's Mill

The site of the former Gregory’s Mill (May 2013)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Gregory's Mill

A few cut stones indicate the former site of Gregory’s Mill (2011)
Source: Ken Storie

Site Location (lat/long): N49.52416, W99.82861
denoted by symbol on the map above


Riverside Heritage, 1896-1996 by the Riverside Centennial Committee, 1996.

John Gregory’s Mill, False Starts: Settlement Stories From Western Manitoba by Ken Storie.

Death registration [John Gregory], Manitoba Vital Statistics.

Information for this page was collected and prepared by Ken Storie, Janet Moore, Tom Mitchell, and Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 3 February 2014

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