Tannery

Early Industry

  • By the early 1840s, Richard Paxman, a shoemaker by trade who hailed from the UK, had built a house and an outbuilding in which he was operating a tannery.  The buildings were on a parcel of land along the north shore of the Humber River,  part of George Bolton’s mill site
  • The plentiful supply of hemlock trees in the vicinity provided an ample source of bark to create the tanning solution that converted raw animal hides into leather
  • The resulting leather was used to make shoes, boots, saddles, straps and harnesses
  • By 1845, Richard Paxman had achieved sufficient success to purchase the property from George Bolton 
  • In 1848, he sold the tannery business to Joseph Warbrick Sr.

The name Paxman has been recorded as ‘Pexham’ in some documents 

The old dam near the bend in Mill Street. Photo taken prior to 1912. Note the denuded hillside.
Panorama view looking west along the Humber River towards the Queen Street bridge. Photo taken prior to 1912.
Humber River looking east from Queen Street. Photo taken prior to 1912.