Friday, February 3, 2012
Abandonment Issues: Barber Paper Mill
Welcome to the Barber Paper Mill.
The Barber family had been involved in woolen milling since 1837. In 1853, they built the Barber Paper Mill along the mighty Credit River and named the new settlement Georgetown, which today is a part of the town of Halton Hills. In 1888, the Barber Paper Mill was the first place in Canada to generate hydro-electric power for use in industrial production, with a power plant that had been built a few kilometers upstream.
The Barber Paper Mill shut down in 1989 and has since sat vacant, left to the elements, vandals, and time. Several proposed projects intended to revitalize this historic site have came and went with no action taken, aside from steal reinforcement beams added to maintain the structural integrity of the buildings during this long drawn out bureaucratic period of limbo.
A seemingly endless amount of gaping holes in the perimeter fencing allowed us easy access on a warm sunny day in early April of 2011. We had already explored the overgrown greenhouses of Concord Floral earlier in the day, and were overjoyed to follow that up with this gorgeous site that stood before us. Several massive limestone buildings were still standing, but barely. The limestone was crumbling, and upper wooden floors had previously crashed to the ground below.
The site was quite active on this day, and the smell of aerosol fumes wafted in the air. Three or four groups of young teenagers came and went. One group of toys were spraying terribly wack graffiti, which covers the buildings. Another group of teens were smoking weed. The third group was quite fun to watch, two young couples that couldn't have been more than fourteen years of age, they still had that innocence that we all once had. They kept splintering off into pairs and then rejoining each other as a group. The boys were climbing up and down and in and out and over, and the girls would follow suit. They must have traversed the entire complex at least two dozen times, taking a different route each and every time. It was absolutely adorable. Another local couple introduced themselves to us: forty-somethings. They each had large travel coffee mugs filled with vodka, and they sauntered along at a relaxed pace. We discussed with them the history of the location, and a little about our interest in it. They found it quite bizarre that we would drive such a long distance for the sole purpose of visiting the old ruins in their back yard. Then they announced that they had to return home to refill their "coffee" mugs, and would return in a few minutes. Sure enough, they returned in a matter of minutes, and continued to wander about at a drunken turtles pace.
We continued to watch the youngest group of kids, and inspired by them, we began to climb up and down and in and out and around and over, and we stopped for lots of kissing and cuddling.
Overall, it was a truly wonderful day. I hope that you enjoy our images from our trip to the Barber Paper Mill.
Thank you for taking the time to check out the Barber Paper Mill with Ninja IX and I. Cheers.
click here to check out all of jerm & ninja IX's ABANDONMENT ISSUES