Hatt family members, along with the new owners of the property, Mark and Joan Tamminga were on hand for the presentation of the Hatt plaque.

Plaque commemorates accomplishments of Richard Hatt

Hatt became one of most influential men in region after emigrating from England

Jim Green, Special To The News
Published on Nov 13, 2009

On behalf of the Ancaster Township Historical Society, Jim Green and the joint plaquing committee recently presented the Hatt plaque, which will be erected at Devils’ Elbow, corner of Old Dundas Road and Lion’s Club Road.

Hatt family members, along with the new owners of the property, Mark and Joan Tamminga, were on hand for the presentation. The land was formerly owned by Art Whipps.

The plaque reads: “Richard Hatt became one of the most influential men in this region. He emigrated from England in 1792 and worked in a store in Newark (Niagara). In 1795, he petitioned the government for land for himself, his siblings and father. They arrived in Canada in 1796 with equipment to build a mill and operate large farms.

“To obtain a source of waterpower, Richard and his brother Samuel purchased this site on Ancaster Creek in 1798 and built a gristmill and sawmill 200 feet downstream on the western edge of Old Dundas Road. They painted the structure red with the only available paint. It was a large mill for the time with a 36-foot undershot water wheel that turned three millstones. It could produce thirty bags of pot barley and twenty barrels of flour a day. To utilize inferior grain, the brothers built a distillery supplying the mash to adjacent hog fattening pens. The mill served farmers from as far away as Galt, Guelph and Woodstock.

“The Hatt brothers widened the Indian trail to Dundas to improve business but in 1804, they sold the mill and moved to Dundas where they eventually purchased mills and water rights on Spencer Creek. Subsequent owners of the Red Mill leased the property but it never flourished. In 1887, the machinery was dismantled and by 1908, the mill was gone.”