Grey stone ruins of building covering green grass landscape on a foggy day.
The remnants of Harris Woolen Mill in Rockwood Conservation Area.

Just outside of Guelph lies a discrete treasure of Rockwood history, the Harris Woolen Mill Ruins, which are situated in the beautiful Rockwood Conservation Area. The mill was established in 1867 by a family partnership of John R. Harris and his two younger brothers. The mill was a profitable establishment throughout the 1870s, with a market for blankets and tweed. The mill ran into difficulties in the early 1880s with a major fire but reached its peak success from 1915-1918 during WW1, providing blankets for the Canadian military. After operating 24 hours-a-day throughout the course of the war, the operations ceased in 1931 amid the struggles of the Great Depression.

The remaining structure is closed due to safety concerns but visitors can still walk along the outskirts and explore the adjacent dam. The ruins serve as a reminder to the community of Rockwood and its visitors of the drastic effects of historic events on public establishments and businesses. By maintaining the current integrity of these historic ruins the memory of the Harris brothers and the mill’s contribution to the war efforts will be able to be remembered for generations to come.

One response to “Rockwood’s hidden gem: Harris Woolen Mill Ruins”

  1. Ely Shemer Avatar
    Ely Shemer

    Nice one!.
    This is what I found out in your post
    What an interesting piece of history! It’s great to see that efforts are being made to maintain the integrity of these ruins for future generations.
    Thanks, Ely


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