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Location DB > Canada > Ontario > St. Catharines > Morningstar Mill
Morningstar Mill
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 Database Info
created by Happiedaze on 10/25/2007 4:06 PM
last modified by Ansion on 8/11/2010 10:13 AM
Publically Viewable Publically Viewable
This location has been labeled by its creator as Public, and therefore can be viewed by anyone.
The site of Morningstar Mill
 Basic Information
Type: Building
Status: Active
Accessibility: Easy
Recommendation: worth the trip
 Physical Information
2710 DeCew Road
St. Catharines, Ontario
Owner: City of St. Catharines
  • water
  •  Interesting Features
    Almost everything there is to be seen here is original. Everything has been kept up and is open to the public to tour and look at. Unlike many museums, Morningstar Mill is open and nothing is locked in glass cases or behind windows. Walking through this place you feel like you just took a step back in time.

    Every building on this site has a history. Each building dates back to a different year, all during the time period that the Mill was in full operation.

    History on every building is available, and visitors are allowed to explore each building freely, without a tour guide. They don't mind cameras and there are so many photo opportunities available throughout this amazing location.

    More interesting features include:

    Building history and use:

    The Gristmill - Built in 1872, ground wheat, oats, barley and rye.

    The Turbine Shed - Built in 1872, In this shed lies the gristmill's horizontal reaction turbine which generates power for the mill. The turbine generates about 49 horsepower. The turbine pit and raceway had to be blasted out of solid rock.

    The Sawmill - Built also in 1872, was originally a community hall where dances and meetings were held. One night after a serious fight, Wilson Morningstar decided the hall must go. He converted it to a sawmill, which he operated for about 45 years. The sawmill was powered by its own turbine.

    The Barn - Built in 1905, this building houses a blacksmith shop and the carpentry shop. The foundation of the barn is poured concrete with large rocks used as fill.

    The Blacksmith Shop - The original blacksmith shop and pattern shop was a large two story cinder block building which can be seen in pictures dated 1905 - 1910.

    The Miller's House - Built in the early 1890's, this was the home of the Morningstar Family. The house was quite elaborate and fancy for it's time. The features of the house include running water, A cistern that was used to catch rain water for washing clothes in a washing machine, A dumb waiter used to lower food to the basement in summer months to keep it cool, A hole in the ceiling to allow heat from the stove to rise to the second floor of the house for added heat, and even a refrigerator that was used to keep things cool by adding ice from the ice house.

     Security Measures
     Historical Dates
    Built: 1872
    Closed: 0
     Required Equipment
  • Camera
  •  Recommended Equipment

    Built in 1872, and owned by Robert Chappel, this mill ground wheat, oats, barley and rye. It was constructed of native stone quarried from Beaverdams Creek which also resulted in the pond in front of the mill. In 1875, the City of St. Catharines Water Works Commission purchased property at DeCew Falls and constructed dams across Beaverdams Creek, interfering with the water supply to the mill. As a consequence, in 1878 the City was compelled to purchase the property from Chappel. This was the beginning of a long relationship between the City and the Mill.

    The City leased the Mill to a number of millers for many years. The City then sold the property to Wilson Morningstar in 1883. Morningstar was forced to rebuild the interior of the Mill after it was destroyed by a fire in 1892.

    The buildings on this site include the gristmill, (Morningstar Mill) the turbine shed, the Miller's House, which was the home of the Morningstar family, the icehouse, the sawmill and a barn.

    The Morningstar family lived in the house from 1890 until 1993. The house has been restored to the 20's and 30's, the period when Wilson Morningstar's business was at it's most prosperous.

    Shorty after Wilson Morningstars death in 1933, the water-powered turbine seized and work at the mill was abandoned. In 1941 his widow, Emma, sold the property to Ontario Hydro. Twenty years later, the City of St. Catharines became involved, leasing the property and opentin Mountain Mills Museum in 1962. The City purchased the mill site in 1989.

    The Friends of Morningstar Mill began restoration of the gristmill in 1992 using original machines and stones.

     Media Coverage

     Future Plans


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     Photo Galleries
    Click to view gallery
    Morningstar Mill - First trip
    Thu, Oct 25th, 2007
    posted by Happiedaze
    19 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    Morningstar Mill - Scenery
    Thu, Oct 25th, 2007
    posted by Happiedaze
    5 pictures

    Add your own photos

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     Web Links


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     Moderator Rating
    The moderator rating is a neutral rating of the content quality, photography, and coolness of this location.

    This location has not yet been rated by a moderator.
    This location's validation is current. It was last validated by Emperor Wang on 8/11/2010 2:07 PM.

     Latest Changes
  • on Aug 11 10 at 14:07, Emperor Wang validated this location
  • on Aug 11 10 at 10:13, Ansion changed the following: Web Links
  • on Oct 20 08 at 22:17, Emperor Wang validated this location
  • on Oct 20 08 at 22:17, Emperor Wang changed the following: Province / State (please use full name)
  • on Oct 20 08 at 22:10, Emperor Wang validated this location
  • on Oct 20 08 at 22:09, Emperor Wang changed the following: City
  • on Jul 31 08 at 21:00, SaraBellum validated this location
  • on Jul 31 08 at 9:43, SaraBellum added this location to the delete queue
  • on Oct 26 07 at 15:29, Happiedaze updated gallery picture master bedroom
  • on Oct 26 07 at 15:29, Happiedaze updated gallery picture bottles from the past
  •  Forum Threads about this Location
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     SubjectStarted ByRepliesViewsLast Post
    You must log in for this feature to work.urbex?Sirber19779/10/2009 4:09 AM by Happiedaze
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