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The Gooderham & Worts families emigrated from the Scole / Bungay area of England in the early 1830s, arriving in York, (now Toronto, Canada). First came James Worts, accompanied by his 13 year-old son, James Gooderham Worts. They built the windmill near the mouth of the Don River. They were followed in 1832 by William and Ezekiel Gooderham, their sister, Elizabeth (James Worts' wife) and 54 extended family members. Over the following 75 years, these families created the largest distillery in the world, as well as contributing to milling, banking, railways, shipping, farming and other essential components of the growing industrial country. They were active in the church and in various communities, as well as in health care and even in our political institutions. In 2013, descendants of the Gooderham and Worts families created an online website that includes a family tree with photos, documents and stories.


1834 This is a Yankee Place

A good story is told about a pioneer selling wheat at the windmill, in the early days of the mill.

Toronto 1834 by Owen Staples

In 1834, John MacKay, who recently died in Toronto, was a farmer in the township of East Gwillimbury. When a lad of nineteen, with a friend named Sutherland, he visited the city of Toronto. This time the youths were entrusted with wheat for sale. Their instructions were to sell to a Mr. Hogg, who was buying wheat at a point known as Hogg’s Hollow. The price at Hogg’s Hollow was fifty cents a bushel. Here a rumour reached the young men that a man named Gooderham down at the Bay front was paying 75 cents a bushel; and they determined to proceed there. The question in their minds was this: Would their wheat pass the higher inspection that Gooderham demanded? Coming to Bloor street, they proceeded to Parliament, from which point they could see the big wings of the windmill. Guided by that, they came to the mill itself. Mr. Gooderham himself jumped on their load, examined their wheat and said:

“That’ll do.”


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