The Kenwood Mills of Arnprior (famous for Kenwood blankets) began in 1918 when the US company F.C. Huyck & Sons took over a factory building of Griffith & McNaughton [Griffith-McNaughton] on William Street in Arnprior. Griffith & McNaughton, founded in 1915, had originally made shirts and then, during World War I, switched to socks and blankets. Huyck named the Arnprior factory “Kenwood Mills” after a village near Albany, New York where the American owners had operated their mill for years. In the 1960s/70s, Kenwood in Arnprior, which had originally made wool blankets, switched to the production of paper machine clothing ( large continuous felts used by paper manufacturers). For a time, Kenwood was the largest employer in town, with 300 employees. In 1962, the Kenwood operation was amalgamated with another Canadian Huyck subsidiary to become Huyck Canada Ltd. In 1980, a huge British conglomerate, BTR Paper Groups, bought the entire Huyck Corporation with all its divisions, including Arnprior. Weavexx was a wholly-owned subsidiary of BTR created in 1992 through a merger of Huyck Canada and Niagara Lockport Industries Canada Ltd.The Arnprior plant was later taken over by Weavexx, which closed its Arnprior operations in 1996.
Scope and Content
The file consists of:
1. Clipping from Ottawa Citizen, May 5, 1997: “Kenwood Mills reopens as corporate centre”, with aerial photo of plant complex. Key terms: Sullivan Realty, Kenwood blankets, felts for the paper industry, Anaron International, KAO, Sandvik, Griffith & McNaughton. The last Kenwood blanket was made in 1980.
2. Photocopy of a newspaper ad for Kenwood Textile Products, from Chronicle, Nov. 2, 1966 (by Huyck Canada Ltd., Kenwood Mills Division).
3. Copy of a printed article about Huyck Canada Ltd. in Arnprior, reproduced in the Arnprior Anniversary Booklet 1987. Caption under photo reads: “Huyck Canada Limited, or Kenwood Mills as it was first known, when the original plant was purchased from Griffin [should read Griffith?] McNaughton Ltd. in 1918.” The McNaughton mill had been started in 1915 by Jim Griffith of Lachute, Que. and Norman Lewis McNaughton of Arnprior. They made socks and blankets for the Canadian Army.
4. Clipping from Chronicle-Guide (1996?), article by Eystein Huus, entitled “An obituary for a plant that created good times for Arnprior: Weavexx”. Some key terms: Edmund Niles Huyck, Kenwood Mills, Kirke Dunlap, Stuart Houston, Hugh Cranston, Bill Burt, Mac Boyd, Walter Prentice, Wally Michel, Jack Melville, Tom Wood, Bill Jamieson, Henry Murdoch, Gerry Neumann, Ken Bews, Alec Flegal, Harry Jones, Owen Herrick, Stan Sheffield. In the 1940s, Crawley Films made a movie about Arnprior and Kenwood Mills called “The Mill and the Town”, which is also available on video cassette, owned by the Arnprior Public Library.
5. Clipping from Arnprior News, July 14, 1996, by Brent Dowdall, entitled “Weavexx announces Arnprior plant closure” (continuation of article on attached photocopy).
6. Clipping from Arnprior-Chronicle, June 29, 1996, by Travis MacLeod, entitled “Historical look at Arnprior is fascinating”. Re Kenwood Mills video.
7. Photocopy of an article in the Arnprior Guide (Face of Arnprior), page 15 (no date), entitled: Kenwood Mills Plant — Large contributor to the growth of Arnprior. This article was printed in the year (1962?) in which Kenwood and the Formex Co. of Canada of Kentville, N.S. were consolidated into one division under the name of “Huyck Canada Ltd.”, a subsidiary of the Huyck Corporation of Stamford, N.Y.
8. Photocopy of photo from local paper, Feb. 14, 1968. First Quarter Century Club meeting and presentations of Kenwood Mills on April 9, 1948 in the United Church parish hall. 33 employees were honoured. All names are listed.
9. Event report sheet: Chronicle, Mar. 16, 1950, front page: “Kenwood Documentary Reflects Town’s Daily Life” re the film, “The Town and the Mill”.
Kenwood Band - see file "Bands/Music" in the Peter Hessel collection.
Event report: Chronicle, Dec. 13, 1929, page 1, item re building additions to Kenwood and Canadian Public Booth and residences and business blocks.
See also Leo Lavoie’s book; The Arnprior Story, page 59.