The farm’s most notable feature is the original mill and it’s accompanying dam. Hence, “best farm by a dam site”! An awful lot of things can be “the best by a dam site” when you live here. It’s almost as tiring as the ingenious ways that the last name “Trick” can be used in the elementary school years.
The property was purchased by the Trick family in 1873 as a going concern water powered grist mill and sawmill known as Spring Creek Farm.
Thomas Trick purchased the property from a William Charlesworth. It’s believed the mill and dam were built close to 1850 and that Thomas Trick was the third owner. At the time, a 23 year old structure would have been nearly new! Over the years, the farm has been home to multiple saw mills, mink barns, trout ponds, cattle, horses, pigs and lots of wildlife.
While most barns built at the same time as the mill had as little sawn lumber as possible, the mill has sawn floor joists, some sawn framing pieces and double layers of beautifully wide inch thick boards for flooring. Along with the mill, there was a sawmill on the other side of the creek. When it was first used and dismantled is unclear. At the time when large trees were everywhere and considered an obstacle to production and a man’s time was quite valuable, boards less than a foot wide were considered not worth the time to use. At least that’s how the story is told and by looking at the lumber that the mill is made of, it’s entirely believable.
The water power provided by the creek and dam gave a very distinct advantage in ways other than turning the millstones. A powered buzz saw for cutting firewood instead of using a cross cut saw, electrification before rural distribution systems were set up for refrigeration and lighting, running a sawmill for cutting logs to lumber when the early alternative was a “pit” saw powered by two men (one above and one below the log). It was a unique property from the beginning and continues to be.
Still today, the bulk of the buildings and activities continue to be provided with electricity generated in the mill. Day in and day out, providing there’s adequate water flow, the water turbine is generating the needs for a big portion of the property. It’s been inspiring to see others adding solar generation to their barns and houses over the past 10 or so years. Clearly, the early folks who built all the small water powered sites throughout the province knew they were trend setters……they just didn’t know when it would gain traction and take off!
The farm now is host to a herd of beef cattle, a small variety of smaller animals, lots of wildlife, Bill and Thea Trick as well as the 5th and 6th generation of Tom and Cherilyn with children Anna, Alex and Charlie.
Lots more to text and photos to add here. All in good time.