Harrington Conservation Area, Pond and Harrington Grist Mill are owned by the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority (UTRCA). The Pond and surrounding property were purchased from the Mill owner - Robert Duncan in 1955. Duncan continued to operate the Mill until 1963, when demand for it's services dwindled, and he sold it to UTRCA. The Harrington & Area Community Association (HACA) entered into a custodial agreement with UTRCA, in regard to the Grist Mill and Conservation Area in 1999. The goal of the group is to maintain the Conservation Area and to restore the Grist Mill, which was originally built in 1846, by pioneer David Demorest. At the time our group became custodians, the Mill was in a state of disrepair, not having operated since 1963.
For almost 2 decades HACA members, along with other partners in the community, have worked tirelessly to restore the Grist Mill, in the hope that it could teach present and future generations about early industry.
Now, with the goal in sight, of making the Grist Mill fully operational with water power from the Mill Pond, there is a very real possibility that Harrington Dam will be removed, and the Mill Pond will disappear.
Repair or replace Harrington Dam
The existing Dam was constructed in 1952. From the Executive Summary posted June 7, 2017 on the UTRCA website , as part of the Environmental Assessment undertaken "Results of a 2007 (Acres) Dam Safety Assessment revealed concerns of insufficient spillway capacity, spillway instability and embankment stability. A subsequent 2008 (Naylor) embankment stability analyses concluded that the Harrington Dam did not meet dam safety guidelines stability criteria. The dam was classified as having a Low Hazard, based on MNR (2011) Dam Hazards due primarily to the rural area in which the dam is situated and the low density of residential dwellings in the area."
Save the Mill Pond and
Restore water power to the Grist Mill
We are thrilled to report that the countless hours and thousands of dollars invested in the restoration, have resulted in a Grist Mill that is ready to be fully operational!
We lack only one crucial element - WATER POWER!