The first settler
of Dundas, James Irish, arrived in 1852. In 1857, John
and George Archibald, Scotch brothers, came from Canada
looking for a good site for a new milling industry.
Here, on Cannon River, was the water power, fertile
soil, and nearby markets they needed. So they bought
the land and laid out their village, naming it after
their hometown Dundas, Ontario (Canada). By 1879 the
Archibald Firm was said to take the leading place among
the mills of the country - even the world! Competing
successfully with Minneapolis in the New York and Boston
markets, they produced the famous D. flour.
Archibald Mill ruins: chase exit on Cannon River
- photo by Glen Switzer
Historical Archibald Flour Mill
The Mill was a community center in the early days.
Church services were held there, and it was even
a refuge in case of an Indian attack. Fortunately,
friendly relations were maintained between the
settlers and Native Americans.
The Mill burned down on New Year's Eve in 1892.
Rebuilding efforts began immediately, only to
to burn down again in 1914. The mill was rebuilt,
this time with a massive castle top. Eventually
the business stared to decline and it was sold
to a group from Minneapolis in 1930. They took
down the castle top and left town, patents being
sold to what is now General Mills.
characteristics of our early day citizens such as James
Irish, H.M. Matteson, Larkin, Chester, Drake, Donaldson
Bros., Bundy, Scoffield, and Taylor & Cheney were
independence, and steadfast
honesty. We, as citizens who follow them and
live here in this village founded upon the rock of their
characteristics, may well emulate their virtures.