Manitoba Municipal Heritage Site No. 286

 

T.A. Burrows Mill Site
Pt. NW 24-25-24W
Grandview

T.A. Burrows Mill Site

Designation Date:  April 10, 2007
Designation Authority:  Town of Grandview
Present Owner:  Watson Crossley Community Museum

The T.A. Burrows Mill Site preserves physical remnants of one of Manitoba’s largest early sawmills and also recognizes a leading pioneer of the valuable lumber industry, Theodore Arthur Burrows, whose ventures were instrumental in promoting the development of Grandview and other communities in the province’s Parkland region. Like other entrepreneurs of his era, Burrows wore multiple hats as a surveyor, railway land commissioner, colonization road builder, politician, and eventually lieutenant-governor of Manitoba (1926-29). He used his knowledge of local resources to acquire timber-cutting rights and establish sawmills in various areas of the province beginning in the late 1870s. He also expanded vertically into the retail side of the building products business. His Grandview mill was especially well situated between the forested areas of the Duck and Riding mountains, next to the Valley River, used to transport raw logs, and to a Canadian Northern Railway line that took the plant’s output to market. The sprawling site held saw-, planing and lath mills, drying and storage yards, workers’ housing, barns and many other ancillary facilities. At its peak, the mill and its related logging activities employed up to 1,000 hands and processed in one season some 13.2 million board feet of wood. The plant’s economic viability eroded in the mid-1910s, however, prompting Burrows to move north to the Porcupine Forest Reserve and Bowsman, where he built a larger-capacity mill. The Grandview site, and the concrete foundations and other mill remains protected therein, are rare publicly accessible vestiges of an important phase in Manitoba’s industrial heritage.

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