It’s a different world just a short 30 minute drive away from downtown Hamilton. Straight up Upper James for a few kilometers, and you will hit the small and quaint town of Caledonia. I had no idea it was so close! We wanted to check it out over the weekend for the city-wide garage sale. However, leaving the house after 10am meant that we had basically missed most of the good deals and sales. With the rain managing to hold off for the afternoon it was still worth the trip to discover some of these Caledonian gems.
Searching the residential back roads for good sales we came upon a stretch of road along side the river, and when we came upon this I couldn’t help but gawk at the old Grand River Mills. What a building! It was a wheat flour mill built in 1853. Powered by the flowing river, it milled wheat into flour from 1857 until the 1960′s! Currently you can’t enter the building, but since it is a designated historic building you can rest assured that it is being preserved. There are plans for its eventual reuse that I believe are currently in the works.
After scouring a few more garage sales and coming up empty handed we decided to make our way. Our first stop before crossing the river back to town was at this antique shop at the old Haldiman House, which just so happens to have been built by James Little, who also built the flour mill by the river.
Next to the antique store was an 85 year old snack bar called the Oasis. We grabbed an ice-cream there for our first of what was to be several Caledonia treats.
Heading back over the bridge I spotted Jones Bakery. Another old establishment still baking with a brick oven! We sampled a butter tart, and some bread. Prices for treats in Caledonia sure can’t be beat. Steve made a payment of less than $2 and it covered everything. We should have bought a fresh rhubarb pie.
Jones bakery had a fine selection of candy too, beautifully displayed in that old-fashioned way.
Well, we left Caledonia empty of garage sale finds, but I left feeling satisfied having explored a new area that I’d never been to before.