NAME: Crooks Hollow
CLIMATE: Snow in winter
BEST TIME TO VISIT: Spring summer or fall
Under protection. Walking tour and maps
and park. Lots of parking. Visit Ghost
Towns of Ontario for more info.
REMAINS: Stone mill circa early 19th century. Cellar holes.
Crooks Hollow was established in 1813, by it's founder, James Crooks. Crooks was an industrialist, who built an empire, that was massive for it's time and astounding, even by today's standards. By 1829, the settlement had grown to include the original grist mill, known as Darnley Mill, a distillery, linseed oil mill, cooperage, tannery, woollen mill, card clothing factory, foundry, agricultural implement factory, paper mill, general store and inn. A 100 man workforce and their families lived in the community that aligned Spencer's Creek for half a century until the railways bypassed the village and the industries slowly died. The original stone grist mill, built in 1813 continued to operate until 1934, when it was destroyed by fire. Although the city of Dundas, further to the south, has grown to encompass Crooks Hollow, the area is now under the protection of the Hamilton Region Conservation Authority. Visitors to the site can view maps and take a walking tour of one of Ontario's earliest industrial empires. Submitted by: Jeri Danyleyko
There are ruins worth the trip to Crooks Hollow when visiting the Ontario area that date back to 1813. It was here that James Crooks built an empire unique to the times and to Ontario. Here were mills of many descriptions, factories, a distillery, a tannery, a linseed oil mill, and Ontario's first paper mill. Most of the population was employed by Crooks. For over fifty years, the town was somewhat of an industrial center. When the railroads bypassed Crooks Hollow, the town began to decline but some of mills and factories remained alive into the 1900s. One of the mills survived until 1934 when a fire burned all except the stone walls. If you visit Crooks Hollow, be sure to bring your camera. Submitted by Henry Chenoweth.