Grist mills turned by water have been around for many centuries, some as early as 19 B.C. Although the terms "gristmill" or "corn mill" can refer to any mill that grind grain, the terms were used historically for a local mill where farmers brought their own grain and received back ground meal or flour, minus a percentage called the "miller's toll".

Millers had a pretty fair living by charging a portion of the grain as payout for their labours. Cuthbert Grant took 10% of the grain as payment for his services alone.

There are three major parts to a gristmill: the raceway (or sluice), the water wheel, and the grinding stone. The raceway channels the flowing water to the wheel. The water then forces the wheel to turn. The turning wheel powers the grinding stones by a series of shafts and pulleys, or gears and shafts. The grinding action of the stones then breaks the grain into smaller, useable pieces such as flour, cornmeal, and grits.


About Cuthbert Grant

Cuthbert grant was born in 1793 at Fort Tremblante, Saskatchewan located on the Assiniboine River near the Saskatchewan – Manitoba border. His father was Scottish and his mother was of Cree-French descent. His father died in 1799 and Cuthbert was then sent to school in Scotland to be educated.

Cuthbert returned to the fur trade country (about 1812) working for the North West Co. at the time of strife between NWC and the HBC. This was also the beginning of a colony at the forks of the Assiniboine and Red Rivers (the Selkirk Settlers). Grant then earned the respect of the Métis and they looked to him for leadership. Events in the Red River Settlement were such that the Métis felt their way of life was being threatened. They appointed him “Captain General of all the Métis” (thus he is considered to be the first leader of the Métis Nation). He then went on to lead his people in the June 19, 1816 Battle of Seven Oaks.

After the merger ...

In 1824, after the merger of the NWC and the HBC, he was granted land along the Assiniboine River to establish a Métis community which he named Grantown. It was later renamed St. Francois Xavier.

In 1828, he was given a special license to trade in the area and was appointed “Warden of the Plains” with his main duties to police illicit fur trade.

In 1829, he decided to build a water mill on Sturgeon Creek to grind grain into flour. This was the first water-powered mill in all of Western Canada. The current Grant’s Old Mill is a replica of this mill and is located close to the original mill site.

Later Cuthbert was made a member of the Council of Assiniboia, also a Justice of the Peace, and a Magistrate. For many years he led the buffalo hunt involving up to 1,000 Red River Carts. He ended up falling from his horse (in 1854) and died shortly there after on July 15th of that year.


Years of Foundation


Visitor Satisfaction




Make History Long-Lasting ... Donate Today!

The Grant’s Old Mill Museum is gratefully accepting donations of money from the public and volunteer community. Allocations go to:

(1) A specific Grant’s Old Mill museum project / event;
(2) In memory of someone special in your life; and/or
(3) General revenue to keep the museum open

Please accept our heartful THANK YOU in advance for your generous gift.
We are thrilled to have your support. You truly make the difference for us, and we are extremely grateful!


Grant’s Old Mill is located on Treaty 1 territory, the traditional lands of the Anishinaabe, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dene, and Dakota Peoples, and the homeland of the Métis Nation.