Watson’s Mill reflected, and a history lesson

There’s been a lot of coverage in the media this week of 24 Sussex Drive, the Prime Minister’s official residence. Did you know that the history of 24 Sussex Drive is linked directly with Watson’s Mill here in Manotick?

Watson's Mill

The mill was built in 1860 by partners Moss Kent Dickinson and Joseph Currier. Shortly after it was built, Joseph Currier met his second bride-to-be, Anne Crosby, in Lake George, New York. She had never been to Manotick, and after their January 1861 wedding and month-long honeymoon, he brought her home to celebrate the Mill’s first year of operation. The very day she arrived, tragedy struck: as she was ascending the stairs to the second floor of the mill, her long, hooped crinoline got caught one of the turbines powered by the river, and she was flung against a support post and killed instantly. They say her spirit still haunts the mill.

Currier never set foot in the Mill nor Manotick again. He went on to become a Member of Parliament, and eight years later married his third wife, the granddaughter of Philemon Wright. He commissioned a house be built for her as a wedding gift, and called it Gorffwysfa, Welsh for “place of rest.” The address? 24 Sussex Drive.

Author: DaniGirl

Canadian. storyteller, photographer, mom to 3. Professional dilettante.

4 thoughts on “Watson’s Mill reflected, and a history lesson”

  1. I want to say “cool!”, but hardly seems appropriate. What an awful thing to have happen. But a neat story. I’ve only been to Watson’s Mill once, but I should fix that. I’m sure the girls would love to see it.

  2. I DID know that! I learned it during Doors Open Ottawa a couple of years ago, when we got to see the other Stanley and Grey cups… I seem to think Joseph was a member of the place that we visited and saw them. Guess where 🙂

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