James and I were out for a photowalk, and ended up in Drayton, Ont. 

 This little mill sits just upstream from the bridge, I've always thought it was an interesting little building. I've tried a couple of times to get a half-decent capture from the bridge. 

Shortly after taking the shot, a gentleman came strolling over the bridge, we engaged  some conversation,  I asked if you knew any story about the little mill and covered bridge, he smiled, and answered "A little". 

Turns out, we were talking with Floyd, the proprietor of the Replica Mill and Covered bridge!  Seemed he was just waiting for us to ask to see it (we did).  This project was a labour of love for Floyd, and we were thrilled to be invited to share in it. 

The text is from memory, and I may have got some of the details wrong, but this is how I remember our discussion going. 

This is a replica of the Kissing bridge, in nearby West Montrose. 

This whole project of multiple buildings has been a hobby of Floyds over several years. 

The Mill is definitely the highlight of this project.  Floyd turned the water pump on to get the water flowing over the waterwheel for us.  He has a little electric pump that brings water from the Conestoga river to run the water wheel. Really quite amazing. 

Ralph invited us into the mill to see the mechanics.   

He had taken an entire winter to build the mechanics. You can imagine that it would be extremely complex to design the inside wheel and cage to get an even spacing for each of the 'pins' and to mesh perfectly with the cage. 

We sat in this Mill for quite a while and chatted. Floyd claims to be a champion of scavenging. The timbers on the roof were from some trees that had come down the river during a spring melt. The concrete blocks were pulled from an school that had been renovated. 

You can see the scale in this shot. The doors are low, we needed to crouch down to go through any.   

Floyd relayed how the waterwheel was extremely heavy, it was quite a challenge to get it in place. 

The mill's upper level. 

Here, you can see the millstone spinning in the upper level of the mill. 

Quite a nice room here. When we commented that the floor looked interesting, Floyd mentioned that he happened to be at the right place at the right time, to get some of the University's old gym floor after a flood. 

On the side wall, were some old family picture calendars, including pictures of little children making ice cream. Floyd & Donna's children are now fully grown adults, and the tradition of ice cream in the mills is carried on by the next generation. 

Looking back at the mill and the Kissing bridge, you can see the river in the background. Once again, the wall along the lane are made from the remnants of a demolished silo. 

At the top of the hill is a train station. 

The train station has a ticket counter in one room and a separate waiting room.  It was very dark inside, hard to get a steady shot. 

And a little church.  

Floyd reminisced about having a Mennonite Youth group crowded into this little church, singing. 


The last building was this little home.  

Looks can be deceiving.  I had to literally crawl on my hands an knees to get onto the porch and in through the front door.  

Floyd made my day sharing this treasure with us.  It was truly inspiring. 

Thank you Floyd! 

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