masthead image

Spanish Mills


Town site photo

The mill in 1911.

Source: Archives of Ontario

The Spanish Mills Lumber Company owned one of the largest and most productive mills on the north shore of Lake Huron.

The small town site that grew up around the mill encompassed a dozen homes for management, a few for family employees, as well as a boarding house, school, church, dance hall and McNeil's general store. The community peaked in the early twenties at 200 plus residents, but by 1927 things turned sour and the mill closed.

The mill itself was sold for scrap and the machinery sent to Skead, near Sudbury. Most of the sturdy houses were skidded off to the main shore, while the rest were left to rot or burn. The tug Wahnapitea, owned by the mill, also found its end in the nearby Detroit Channel. On a good day one can still see the wreck sitting 20 feet below. A post office opened in 1868 and took the name of Spanish River until 1906 when the name Spanish Mills was adopted. The office closed in 1927.