Bruce Trail: Decew Falls
Bruce Trail - Supplement - Decew Falls and Morningstar Mill
Got up to some new snow this morning so thought we’d go for a drive and maybe a short hike to catch some nice photos of the trees all white and all. We are old so it took us a while. I had to eat breakfast and all.
We drove around a bit and ended up at Decew Falls; we had been there before and it is quite photogenic so we thought, with the snow it would be quite nice. A fair bit of the snow had melted off the trees but it was still quite lovely.
We were just beginning to walk about taking photos when one of the volunteers came out of the big house there and asked if we’d like to look inside some of the buildings. We had never been in them, although we had been through there a few times, so said we’d love to.
The place dates back to 1895. There is a sign that is now inside the building, you can see the photo below, that was up on the outside for 100 years. As you can see from the photo below, the shot of the sign inside, it is still in pretty good shape. Terry, the fellow that was showing us about, said the replacement sign they put up lasted about 20 years. There is another one up there on the outside now.
It is called the Mountain Mill or Morningstar Mill (or both). The original grist mill, still working, was built in 1872.
Terry, our guide, was full of an amazing amount of information. Can’t remember half of it but he also loaded us down with pamphlets so that it wasn’t completely necessary for me to remember every detail. There is a photo below of the mill/grinder thingy where they actually make flour. Apparently, you can’t buy it, they have to give it to you if you want, you can donate. The mill is turned by the water from the river.
(Rant: Amazing the bureaucratic complexities of any government at any level. Terry tells us that it take ages to get money, if they get it at all and they are way down the list. And here with the flour, they could actually make money to pay for some of the restorations and thus not have to wait for various approvals. But no, the bureaucrats need a ‘raison d’etre’!)
Next door, at the back of the building they rebuilt the Mill part with old barn boards and beams. Built last time in 1995 I believe. They have the original cranks and shafts of the mill there as well. Some cool views of the falls from the windows inside. And one photo, if you cannot figure out what it is, looking straight down to where the water turns the wheel thingy for the mill.
The house, originally lived in by the Morningstar Family has been restored a couple of times. All of the work is now done by caring volunteers.
Lots more information about Decew Falls and Morningstar Mill and Family here: http://morningstarmill.ca
This spot is on the Bruce Trail. If you make it the beginning or end of one of your hikes, try and time it when they are open for tourists. Depending on how many kilometres that you do each hike, this will be anywhere from your fourth to sixth segment.