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Edwards Garden grows from pioneer roots


By Anna Taylor A


lexander Milne emerges from the mist of the past as an energetic and restless man, bent on making his fortune in the New World. He was born in


Forfarshire, Scotland in 1777 and immigrated to Amer- ica in 1811 with his wife Jane Gibson and a son, William Milne, who was 10 years old at the time. All told, he and Jane produced seven children. After spending time successfully practising the trade of


a weaver in New York, where he eventually built the busi- ness to encompass ten looms, he moved on to New Jersey in 1813. Here he pursued a business of cotton bleaching, using a technique he had patented.


localgardener.net For some reason, on the advice of the British Consul, at


the age of 40 in 1817, he moved to Canada. Here he gained possession of “the east half of lot 5, concessions 2, East York where he took up 500 acres of land.” The family pros- pered. A sawmill was built in 1827, and then, for want of enough power, another mill in 1832, when it was moved to a site on the east branch of the Don River. The family continued to occupy the homestead through several more generations. Alexander’s grandson, Alexander W. Milne, built a large brick woolen mill that continued to operate for many years although it was finally closed in the early 1900s.


Fall 2016 • 55


All photos courtesy of the Edwards Garden.


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