Chapter: Making Your Mark

Grant's Old Mill

"Grant was the first to use water to turn wheat into flour"
Grant's Old Mill illustrates the story of Cuthbert Grant & the Métis culture/fur trade. Grant's Old Mill


In 1816, Cuthbert Grant would lead the Métis and the Northwest Company to victory over the Hudson Bay Company in the Battle of Seven Oaks. In 1821 the two companies merged and the conflict ended.

Grant was then asked by the new Governor to establish a new Métis community to be located west of the Red River Settlement on the Assiniboine River. The community was originally named in his honour, Grantown, though it was later renamed St. François Xavier.

Wheat was an important food source for the community and a mill was required to grind the wheat into flour. There were already several windmills in the area, but Grant built the first watermill west of the Great Lakes. It was completed in 1829 and located on Sturgeon Creek in Winnipeg.

Unfortunately, repeated spring flooding required the mill to be closed in 1832. The machinery was relocated to Grantown (St. François Xavier) where a windmill was built. In 1975 logs from the Whiteshell were used to create a replica of Grant's Old Mill. This replica is now a museum and serves as a reminder of the original watermill and as a reminder of Cuthbert Grant and his contributions to the Métis peoples and the Red River Settlement.