Close to Christie Lake Conservation Area stand the ruins of Darnley Mill. This mill, the centre of an early industrial settlement, was built by James Crooks, a Scottish immigrant who came to the area in 1805. The mill was built in 1813 to grind flour for the British Army during the War of 1812 and named after a man Crooks admired, Lord Darnley, King Consort of Scotland.
Forty-seven years later in 1860, following the death of James Crooks, it was bought by James Stutt and Robert Sanderson and converted to a paper mill until it was destroyed by fire in 1943. Darnley Mill is located in Crooks’ Hollow, a heritage area originally founded by The Hollow, now conserved and owned by the Hamilton Conservation Authority, had its industrial beginnings in 1801, when Jonathan Morden built a sawmill on Spencer Creek.
By 1829, this area contained the Darnley gristmill and buildings such as a woollen mill, tannery, a distillery, linseed oil mill, cooperage, a general store, clothing factory, foundry, paper mill, agricultural implement factory, log cabins for workers and an inn.