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Villages & Entrepreneurs (1840-1860)

Senator Flint's Portrait

Billa Flint

Billa Flint, founder of Flint's Mills

The history of Flinton has many colourful characters, but Billa Flint was the only one who became a Senator. He also had a very powerful influence on this substantial village west of Highway 41 and north of Highway 7. Mr. Flint was a businessman and entrepreneur who helped to found the village of Troy, once also called Bridgewater and now Actinolite, which is on Highway 37 north of Tweed. Following the old Indian trail along the Skootamatta river, Mr. Flint trained his eyes northward, to a place where the river thunders over the rocks, an excellent spot for mills. Here he built a combined grist and saw mill. Known at first as Flint's Mills, the hamlet soon became a hive of industry and business concerns. DISCOVER MOREReadmore Arrow

Mr. Flint became active in local politics and held the position of reeve of Elzevir Township, west of the village, for 21 years. In 1859, a provincial land surveyor named John Emerson surveyed the site, laying out streets and lots. Billa Flint contributed to the village by donating land for a school, two churches and a township hall. At that point, the name was changed to Flinton.

Business flourished, with buggy, millinery and shoe making enterprises being set up. Flinton was home to the only casket-building business in the area as well. However, Mr. Flint's good fortunes did not continue. Fires in his enterprises in Bridgewater destroyed his businesses and his spirit and he retired to Belleville, where he died in 1886.

Flinton's history however continues. The Golden Fleece mine offered employment for many in the early years of the twentieth century. The gold mine eventually was closed, like the other mines in the area. The ore is there, but not in the quantities needed for long term sustainability of the enterprise. Senator Flint's village in Lennox and Addington County carries on, providing a quiet and pleasant place for country living.

Submitted courtesy of The Pioneer Museum, Cloyne and District Historical Society, Cloyne

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