“The mark of a Scot of all classes is that he … remembers and cherishes the memory of his forebears, good or bad; and there burns alive in him a sense of identity with the dead even to the twentieth generation.” Robert Louis Stevenson
It’s almost impossible to watch the surging, rushing waters of the Mississippi in Almonte without recalling the early mills and how they were powered by this river.
In 1820 Scottish immigrants, mostly from Paisley and Glasgow, many weavers by trade, began to settle in the area. It wasn’t long before the combination of the legendary Scottish engineering skills and generations of weaving expertise paved the way for a booming textile industry in Almonte.
At the height of production, there were seven woolen mills operating and the town became known as “The Manchester of North America”. The mills provided employment for many of the town’s residents and generations of families benefitted financially from the work which was powered by this mighty river.
Although the last mill in operation, the Rosamond Woolen Company closed its doors in the 1980s, the river courses on, forceful as ever, as we walk along historic Mill Street. The Mississippi still propels itself with the same intensity as it rushes through the town, magnificent, cool, a welcome presence on a hot July afternoon.