The Austin & Nicholson Lumber Company, eager to expand on the success of their busy mill in Nicholson built a second, at much needed mill names Dalton Mills. They chose a convenient location near the railway facilities at Dalton and added a small spur line connecting the yards to the station.
The mill included a dam, sawdust burner, planning mills, machine shop and a cookhouse. They hurriedly erected a two-storey, 100-room boarding house for the workers. The mill was so successful that the townsite quickly grew to include 36 additional dwellings, company store, butcher shop, post office, two churches and a school. Recreational facilities included a baseball diamond, theatre, and later a community centre with bowling lanes and pool tables, and an ice cream parlour. By 1930, over 600 residents lived on site.
The mill continued to thrive throughout the depression. They promptly rebuilt the mill after fire struck in 1939. However employees were not so lucky 10 years later, when a second fire consumed the mill. With timber already depleted, the company decided to close the mill and move on to greener forests. It was over for Dalton Mills by 1951.
Today there are still substantial remains of the mill. Unfortunately there is little of the townsite, other than a small cemetery, the Austin residence and the collapsed remains of the hotel. Learn more