Research is a really interesting (and time-consuming) part of writing historical fiction. This woolen mill at Upper Canada Village came from Odessa, a town not far from Forest Mills, where Finding Home takes place. Woolen mills were one place where both men and women could work. Of course the women’s wages were much lower! What’s new?
In our novel, Finding Home, the Forest Mills woolen mill and saw mill are owned by different families. In reality, these two mills were both owned by the Breeze family. One of the descendants still lives on the property and the remnants of the sawmill can still be seen on the Salmon River. That history was part of the inspiration for Finding Home.
In the novel, we have used family names from the 1871 atlas of Forest Mills and Richmond Township. Although the characters are entirely fictitious, some of the anecdotes from the Lennox and Addington County archives are woven into the story. For example, there really was a man who left his wife a bequest of only $1.00, and the newspaper columns by Grand Curiosity can be read on microfiche.