Sovereen-Quance Mill

Where we now find the Delhi Tobacco Museum & Heritage Centre, was once a place with plenty of history. In this presentation of Historic Delhi, we’ll try to give you a bit more insight of its past.

Please note: the sources from which we obtained this material seems to have some conflicting dates.
If anyone interested in the history of Delhi can help us out with this, we would really appreciate it.

Sovereen-Quance Mills, Delhi

Henry Sovereen of Delhi, Norfolk Country, with the help of his son Jacob established a lumber mill in 1842 here on the bank of Big Creek. Three years later, a waterpowered gristmill, built of brick, was added to their business enterprises.

Henry’s brother, Frederick Sovereen was the founder of Delhi, which in the early years of settlement was known as Fredericksburg after him.

Sovereen Mills prospered and provided the stimulus for the initial growth of the village. By the 1870’s however, lumbering was beginning to decline as most of the area’s timber had been harvested, and in 1874, the mills at Delhi were sold to the Quance family.

Around the turn of the century, a steam plant was installed, so the mills could operate on a year-round basis. Although fire heavily damaged the sawmill in 1913, it was quickly rebuilt and the company’s planing mill produced door frames, window sash and fine woodwork on the premises until operations ceased in 1969 on the death of the owner.

In 1930 the gristmill too was struck by fire, but the outer walls remained standing and the mill soon after was back in business, albeit operating on a part-time basis in later years.

The mill was sold by the Quance family in 1987 and the new owners at that time were contemplating the building’s future use in a water-hydro project.

The Town of Delhi purchased the old sawmill in 1975 and has since been restored and put in working order.

The area surrounding it boasts a beautiful park that’s the backdrop for many wedding photos and is a great place were visitors can relax or catch a few fish.

Big thank you to James Gorgan, our Toronto SEO expert for the excellent history lesson.