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Better Baskets by Babcock

The Babcock Mill is built on land deeded by the British Government to Joshua Booth in 1803 as part of his eight Crown Deeds. The stone structure was built in 1856, by the Saul Brothers, for John K. and Philip D. Booth, sons of Benjamin Booth, of Odessa. The Mill was originally intended to be a Flour Mill but the grain grinding equipment was never installed. The opening of the Grand Trunk Railway, in 1856, allowed cheap flour to be shipped from mills in Toronto and Montreal causing small local mills to be unprofitable. The Mill was used for box making, an office and sales room, and for wool storage, as part of the Booth Woolen Mills on this site.

In 1907 this mill, and the Sawmill next to it was purchased by John Herbert “Cap” Babcock from the Booth family. Cap installed the present equipment and operated the mill, planing lumber, doing custom mill work, and manufacturing his patented “Babcock” baskets. Following Cap’s death in 1946,
his son Roy Babcock continued to operate the mill, entering into a partnership with his brother Oscar. They manufactured truck bodies until the late 1960s when the partnership dissolved and J. H. Babcock & Sons Limited moved to Toronto.

In 1977, Roy Babcock sold the mill and 13 acres of land to the Township of Ernestown, now Loyalist Township, the current owner of the mill.
In 1986, the Township contracted Don Babcock (grandson of J. H. Babcock) to reconstruct and repair the original basket making machinery. Since then The Mill has undergone extensive renovations and is now fully restored to its original working condition.
The Babcock Mill
The Babcock Mill
View from the Cupola
View from the Cupola
Nothing to Waste
Nothing to Waste
Altered Plans
Altered Plans
The Boiler
The Boiler
Belt and Pully Power
Belt and Pully Power
Main Drive Pulley
Main Drive Pulley
Recut Saw
Recut Saw
The Planer
The Planer
Slat Knife
Slat Knife
Slat Knife and Sander.
Slat Knife and Sander.
Main Floor
Main Floor
Cut to Length
Cut to Length
Slat Notching
Slat Notching
Weaving
Weaving
Weaving Machine
Weaving Machine
Drum Sander
Drum Sander
Hoop Templates
Hoop Templates
Hoop Pre-shaping
Hoop Pre-shaping
Hoop-ing
Hoop-ing
Hoop Form
Hoop Form
Hoop-ed
Hoop-ed
Hoops
Hoops
Assembly
Assembly
Handle-ing
Handle-ing
Finished Product
Finished Product
Better Baskets by Babcock
Better Baskets by Babcock