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1892 Gold processed at the Pearce Mills in Marmora! Who knew?

Allan Stacey of Chelmsford, ON writes:

For some time I have been researching Middleton Crawford, an inventor with a varied focus. His earliest invention was a cockle machine (US patent #285,344 patented Sept. 18, 1883 for a grain cleaning machine) while he was a resident of Wiarton, Ontario. Other inventions followed until July of 1891 when he patented a grinding and amalgamation mill for the processing of gold bearing ore. (US Patent #11,180 July 28, 1891) This first mill employed heavy steel balls circulating over a round trough, while a subsequent variation replaced the steel balls with rollers (Great Britain Patent #16,219 Aug. 25, 1894). In my research of the Belmont mine (Cordova)   I note that the South African General Exploring and Mining Company  of London England took up an option on the mine circa December 1891 and installed four Crawford mills  in a mill plant in the village of Marmora. The company purchased the patents for $500,000.

Another note dated winter 1892 says the four small ball mills (3 tons per day per mill) were set up in a sawmill that was idle during the winter. Ore was teamed by sleighs from the mines to the mill during the winter months.

Photo of Pearce Mills constructed on what is now the dam location. Visible is the west shore of Crowe River.