Plaque commemorates accomplishments of Richard
Hatt became one of most influential men in region
after emigrating from England
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.”