Goshen Mills, Blacksmiths, Tanneries
Lumber was one of the main industries in the Goshen area spawning a vast number of itinerant sawmills. “Everywhere there was a lake, a falls, a brook; they put a sawmill”, remarked Mr. Lloyd Sinclair.
At Loch Katrine, on a brook between Copper Lake and South river Lake, owned by Alex Hattie (possibly MacHattie), in Argyle there was a water mill owned by a MacKinnon, in Upper Argyle a water mill operated by Peter MacIntosh, in Denver a water and diesel powered mill has been in business since the 1900’s, run by the Archibald’s who continue the operation on a smaller scale to date (2010).
There were both steam and water powered sawmills after 1900. The water mills were less powerful and ran the old fashioned up and down mill saw. Steam powered mills could run trimmer saws, circular saws, and cut edges.
Arthur Feltmate owned a sawmill on Peter Sinclair’s land at the end of Goshen lake on the Fishers Mills Rd. He had another mill in Eight Island Lake on Ivan Cummings property. There was another sawmill in Eight Island Lake, opposite the Donald Cameron property, which was owned by Mr. Dunbar. The Sawmill was still in operation in 1951. Alex Archibald worked there as a sawyer and Kate MacIsaac worked there as a cook .
Merritt Feltmate’s first sawmill was located across from the Goshen Cemetery but was moved to Fisher’s Mills Road and then to the site of Scotia Pallets. This mill burned in the early 1960’s and was replaced immediately in a new location on Copper Lake Rd. The first mill was started in 1945 and the last mill sold in the early 1970’s.
In 1987, Herman Long bought Country Harbour Hardwoods Limited from Phil Wynn and started his own pallet company called Scotia Pallets, which is currently in operation and employs 15 people. More about Scotia Pallets can be found here.
Grist mills in the area provided flour from the harvest. Mills were located in:
Upper South River –dates unknown
Denver 1880-1918, destroyed by fire
Locharber circa 1850-1930, run by Howard Halbert
John Costley-Copper Lake circa mid 1800’s (tanner)
Norman Cummings-8 Island Lake circa 1880-1910 (tanner and cobbler)
James MacIntosh-Goshen 1870s-1910 (harness and leather work)
A blacksmith shop run by Hugh Kenneth Sinclair and a carriage shop run by Simon Sinclair were located near the site of the present Manse house on Copper Lake Road. These two businesses operated together in the 1890’s, although the smithy is purported to have been in operation since the 1860’s. Hugh K. Sinclair sold his shop to Al MacNaughton and Harry Sinclair when he moved out west. He later came back and built another blacksmith shop on Copper Lake Rd. There were many blacksmith shops over the years including one where Goshen Enterprises stands today.