Allan’s Mills, named for William Allan, was a small milling hamlet located just west of the town of Perth in Lanark County. The community got its start after Allan built saw and grist mills, followed by a general store and blacksmith shop. He opened a post office in 1872.
At its height, Allan’s Mills included a wagon maker, shoemaker, carpenter and two blacksmiths. Small mills including the McCabe Mill, the Ritchie Mill and the Bowes Mill dotted the surrounding area, each of which had their own tiny settlements of mill workers. Education was important to these early settlers. Consequently they all shared a school located on the Scotch Line at the north end of Allan Mills Road.
By the late 1890s, business was beginning to slip. Timber supplies had become depleted and farmers were making a gradual transition from wheat to dairy farming. Many of the mills did not survive the upheaval.
William Allan got out of the milling business at a good time. In 1892, he sold the grist mill to the Burgess Milling Company. The mill reportedly stayed in business until the 1970s.
Today Allan’s Mills is one of the few ghost towns that remains relatively intact. The stately stone grist mill remains in beautiful condition. Now restored, it now serves as a private dwelling. Behind it stands one of sawmills, now used for storage. Both the general store and blacksmith shop are still standing, as is the handsome Allan home. The owner of the former general store dressed the place up with vintage Coke signs. The Scotch Line Cemetery, located at the north end of Allan Mills Road remains in use and still sees the occasional burial. Learn more