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Industries

The main industries of historic South Colchester were farming and lumbering. Although the rich soil and lush forests create optimal conditions for these industries, South Colchester also contained a creamery, a hotel, grist mills, a cement plant, and even a gold mine.

Brookfield

Brookfield CreameryBrookfield housed a creamery called Brookfield Creamery Products Limited which was opened in 1894. This business continued to manufacture butter, cream, etc. until the company built a new factory in Truro and moved the entire operation there.

Cloverdale

South-east of Brookfield is located the small community of Cloverdale. In 1870, there was a hotel located here that was operated by W. T. Winton and family; one of the four families which called Cloverdale home in the early 1870's.

Gays River

George Gay washing GoldGold was discovered by Berry Corbett and George Gay on their farms in June 1864 in Gays River and mining was carried on on a small scale between 1866 and 1880. Some prospecting was done in the 1880's, and in 1890-91, the Coldstream Mining Company erected a stamp mill. It was a failure however, and was sold in 1893. In 1960, an unsuccessful attempt was made to reopen the mines at Gays River.

Newton Mills

The establishment of a grist mill, and later the Mulgrave Woolen Mills brought about the name Newton Mills. Samuel Creelman was one of the grantees of Upper Stewiacke in 1783 and probably settled here soon after. He built a grist mill which was purchased by James Creelman in 1862, and converted to woolen manufacture in 1867. In 1888, the name of the firm was changed from Samuel Creelman and Sons to James Creelman and Sons. An establishment for the manufacture of woolen yarn had been erected at Upper Stewiacke by John and William Creelman before January 1862. James Creelman and Sons Mulgrave Woolen Mills operated until about 1948.

Pleasant Valley

Lafarge Cement PlantCanada Cement Company Limited, in 70% production by August 1965, was officially opened Septmber 29, 1965. The cement plant in Pleasant Valley is the only operating cement plant in Atlantic Canada with an annual production capacity of approximately 500,000 tonnes of cement per year. The cement plant currently employes 80 full time staff; with a high percentage of those being Colchester County residents. The cement plant was purchsed by Lafarge North America, the largest supplier of construction materials in Canada and the United States, and continues to thrive in Pleasant Valley.

Wittenburg

Eventually a community of about two hundred employed in wood-working and slate quarrying came into being in a southern South Colchester community called Wittenburg. The Sibley wood-working factory which made chairs, was begun in the 1820's, but was closed down about 1898. Grist lumber and shingle mills were set up by William Sibley in 1840 in the heart of Wittenburg. However, in 1880, Joe Taylor bought them and they were torn down in 1930. The businesses thrived for several decades but did not continue due to lack of interest and resources which contributes to the diversity of industry in South Colchester.