Day 79 – Ritchie Mill   7 comments

Constructed in 1892 by Orson and Robert Ritchie, Ritchie Mill is the oldest surviving flour mill in the province of Alberta. Originally known as the Edmonton Milling Company, it was built at the end of the Calgary-Edmonton rail line (the aptly named ‘End of Steel’) on the south side of the North Saskatchewan river.

It employed steel rollers to mill harder grain than was possible with the more common stone rollers of the time, which quickly became pitted trying to grind hard prairie wheat.

Mr. Ritchie was a prominent citizen. At the turn of the century he was one of a committee that enabled Strathcona’s incorporation as a town. In December of 1900, he was elected as the second mayor of Strathcona. At this time, mayors only served a one-year term. In 1904, he served on the Strathcona Rink Association which raised enough money to build the town’s first covered ice hockey rink. He was also one of the first automobile owners in town.

Ritchie sold the flour mill in 1912 to the Northwest Mill and Feed Company, who continued operating the flour mill until 1948. It was then converted into the feed mill and continued that way until the mid ’70s. Empty for many years, it has now been refurbished and serves as home for a restaurant and law offices.

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7 responses to “Day 79 – Ritchie Mill

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  1. A whole different look on this photo. Interesting!

  2. Great work there Ritchie,very nice post,what lens and camera are you using-nice effect.

  3. Thanks Adrian. I shoot with a Canon 5D. The lens in this case is a Lensbaby – it has a very small focus area and then rapidly blurs out to the edges. You can move the small focus area around the frame by pushing and pulling the lens. Quite a unique tool. I did the post processing to take away most of the colour, enhance textures and fine tune lighting in Photoshop CS3 using Nik Software’s Silver Efex Pro 2.

  4. Lensbaby, I’ve been toying with the idea of getting one, do you like it? I certainly love the effect in this shot, certainly draws my attention to the sign. As always, great post processing. 😀

    • Yeah David, I think the Lensbaby is great. It’s certainly not my everyday lens, but it’s great to pull it out every once in a while to mix things up. Once I took my daughters away for the weekend and I only brought the lensbaby – I shot portraits, landscapes, a whole bunch of stuff. Some worked, some didn’t, but it keeps you on your toes and makes you shoot something new. Plus, they’re the cheapest lenses you’ll ever buy!

  5. it almost looks like you’re looking at a reflection in a puddle or through water somehow. very cool! i’ve not heard of lensbaby before. i wonder if it comes in a nikon build… i think it would be fun to mess around with.

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