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The Challenge:

Port Rowan, ON

Grassmere was awarded a contract by the Long Point Region Conservation Authority to restore portions of the 1798 Backhouse Grist Mill, a national historic site.

This ambitious project involved repairing the foundation, replacing support columns as well as restoring some of the exterior windows. Like all grist mills, this mill was built on a flood plain, and as a result of cold weather and flooding, the structure heaves from time to time, requiring regular maintenance. Recently the mill had shifted and the deteriorated columns needed replacing.

The work was labour intensive and took place during the winter. We encountered major water and foundation challenges, including the detection of a major crack in the existing foundation.

The Grassmere Solution:

In order to repair the foundation, we first had to shore up the existing wood structure and dam up the water. To deal with the leak, we selected a concrete mix design that was suitable for use under hydraulic conditions and were able to pour a new foundation slab under water to ensure the structural stability of the existing building.

With complete control over the project, Grassmere was able to self-perform all of the work with our own forces. This included refurbishing the wood window sashes in our own shop to match the old ones and reinforcing old beams to keep their rustic look.

The Result:

The client was very pleased with the level of professionalism we brought to this project. Even a trained professional would have difficulty telling where we did our work, as it all blends in seamlessly with the existing materials and thus maintains the mill’s historical integrity.

Basic Specifications:


Backus Mill Restoration


Port Rowan, ON

Project Description:

Historical restoration

Construction Services:

Project Management

Sector Served:


Completion Date:

Spring, 2015


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