Delta, Ontario – The Old Stone Mill in Delta, Ontario is a National Historic Site that gives visitors a chance to go back in time and learn about milling technology and 1800s industrial heritage. The mill was built in 1810 and is owned and operated by the Delta Mill Society, which also owns and operates two other historic properties in the area.
One of the big draws for the mill is the milling demonstration done by a local farmer who grows organic heritage red fife wheat that he grinds on the millstones throughout the summer. The Delta Mill Society then bags and sells the milled flour.
Visitors from around the world come to see the Old Stone Mill, but the mill was closed to the public during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was an opportune time to perform some maintenance upgrades and install more interpretation signage to allow visitors to take self-guided tours of the mill.
Local farmer Pamela Cairncross’ nomination of the Delta Mill Society for the $2,500 Canada’s Farmers Grow Communities (CFGC) grant covered the costs of the maintenance upgrades and signage installation. Canada’s Farmers Grow Communities is a program offered by Bayer Crop Science to strengthen rural communities by supporting local non-profit organizations that do much-needed work in their communities.
Pamela, who farms cereals, soybeans, and corn at Cairnbrae Farm, says she was thrilled when she found out the Delta Mill Society received the CFGC grant.
“I chose the Delta Mill Society because they have been working so hard at trying to promote the Old Stone Mill on a shoestring budget,” she says.
Cathy Livingston, President of the Delta Mill Society, says she was surprised to learn the Delta Mill Society had been nominated for the CFGC grant.
“It meant a great deal to us,” she says. “Being a non-profit organization, we rely on fundraising, donations, memberships, and grants to help keep our operation sustainable. The CFGC grant allowed us to add additional signage, which helps us with our mandate that the Old Stone Mill will be available to the public as an operating museum.”
Pamela says she encourages other farmers to nominate local non-profit organizations as a way to give back to the community.
“We have so many worthwhile groups in our area that are trying to do such great things with little money,” she says. “My experience with the CFGC grant process was very positive and I plan on nominating another group again this year.”