Armstrong Mills was a small mill town and hamlet named for the Armstrong family who first arrived in the area in 1822.The Armstrong family was active in township and local affairs and by 1845, had established the Speedside Congregational Church.
John and Mary Armstrong constructed the mill in 1856. It was an instant success and a small community named Unionville quickly sprang to life around the mill. A school quickly followed in 1863. After the post office opened in 1876, the community’s name changed from Unionville to Armstrong Mills, after the Armstrong family.
Although the community was initially successful, it experienced little growth after that. The mill finally shut down in 1950.
Acclaimed realist painter, the late Ken Danby, purchased the then derelict mill in the 1960s. Mr. Danby spent many years restoring the mill to its former grandeur. He featured it as a backdrop in a number of paintings during the later years. Following his death in 2007 his family put the estate, which included the miller’s stone house, up for sale.
In addition to the restored mill, Armstrong Mills contains a few other early vestiges including the schoolhouse, now a private home and attractive little church built by the Armstrongs, now known as the Speedside United Church. Learn more