Kitchener Public Library Digital Collections
Bridgeport, Ontario
Description
Media Type
Image
Item Type
Photographs
Description
Undated sepia image shows the village of Bridgeport. Included in the view is a large grist mill and several neighbouring homes and smaller industrial buildings. Some streams and ponds are evident in the image. There may be a man standing beside a fence above a pond in the bottom left portion of the image.
Notes
This view looks generally north and west over the sprawling Bridgeport mill property that was once a busy business site on the north side of the Grand River in the village of Bridgeport, since 1973 part of the City of Kitchener, Ontario. The original mill on the property, powered by water from a dam along Laurel Creek, earlier called Beaver Creek, was built about 1830 by Jacob S. Shoemaker, who for a time resided in one of the large homes visible on a hill above the five-storey grist mill in the image. The photo may have been taken from Lancaster Street West. The large mill in the photo stood at the West end of Woolwich Street, near where it meets today's Shirk Place, earlier called Mill Street. The address of the home today is 38 Shirk Pl., Kitchener. It was earlier 38 Mill St., Bridgeport.

Most of the land on the north side of the street was once part of Shoemaker's property, which was initially called Shoemaker's Mills. This part of the future village of Bridgeport, on the north side of the Grand River, was later called Glasgow and then called Lancaster for a time. By the late 1870s it had come to be part of Bridgeport, a name that had used earlier only for the area south of the Grand River.
Over the years the mill property had several owners, most of who used different parts of the site for a variety of business activities including the grist mill, a saw mill, lumber yard, cooperage and the production of various seed oils.

A 1912 photo in the collection of the Mennonite Archives of Ontario shows the grist mill with a roof-top hut situated above the centre of the building.

Shoemaker moved from Bridgeport after selling his mill property to Elias Eby and Barnabas Devitt. Eby later operated the mill in partnership with one or more of his sons. It subsequently was operated by business partners Peter Shirk and Samuel Shantz Snider, then by a stock company, Shirk & Snider Co. Ltd. The site was owned by the Waterloo County Supplies Co-operative, also known as Waterloo County Co-op, in 1970 when a fire destroyed the grist mill building. Some concrete silos that were part of the destroyed building are still standing on the site off Woolwich Street in 2020.

This image is part of the Schmalz Collection.

The image is in fair considition and mounted on a cardboard backing.
Date of Original
1885
Date Of Event
1885
Dimensions
Width: 10.7 cm
Height: 13.8 cm
Image Dimensions
Image Width: 10cm
Image Height: 13cm
Subject(s)
Personal Name(s)
Shoemaker, Jacob S., 1798-1875 ; Eby, Elias, 1810-1878 ; Eby, Jacob B., 1826-1882 ; Devitt, Barnabas, 1807-1891 ; Shirk, Peter, 1839-1911 ; Snider, Samuel Shantz, 1821-1912
Corporate Name(s)
Elias Eby & Co. ; Shirk & Snider Co. Ltd. ; Waterloo County Supplies Co-operative ; Waterloo County Co-op
Local identifier
P002939
Collection
Waterloo Historical Society
Geographic Coverage
  • Bridgeport mill, Kitchener ON:
    Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 43.4811735742236 Longitude: -80.4848782751465
Copyright Statement
Public domain: Copyright has expired according to Canadian law. No restrictions on use.
Location of Original
PB4
Terms of Use
If you would like to obtain a digital or print copy of this image, please see KPL's Photographic Reproduction Policy at http://www.kpl.org/localhistory/photographs
Contact
Kitchener Public Library
Email
WWW address
Agency street/mail address

85 Queen North

Kitchener, ON N2H 2H1

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Bridgeport, Ontario


Undated sepia image shows the village of Bridgeport. Included in the view is a large grist mill and several neighbouring homes and smaller industrial buildings. Some streams and ponds are evident in the image. There may be a man standing beside a fence above a pond in the bottom left portion of the image.