In 1786 John Cambridge purchased approximately 300 acres along Wright's Creek, which was then called Bird Island Creek. Around 1800 he built a 22 foot-high mill dam at the head of tide on the creek, and went on to build a saw mill, grist mill and barley mill on the dam, and the Island's first brewery just below the dam. (The mill dam can be seen at the far end of the pond.) In 1808 he turned over the operation of the mills and brewery to his daughter Phoebe and son-in-law George Wright. The entire complex burnt in 1827. It was immediately rebuilt without the brewery but with a new carding mill. A painting of the rebuilt mills as they appeared in 1905 is shown above.Wright's Creed Watershed Environmental CommitteeAn urban watershed group within the Hillsborough Area Watershed CooperativeFunding for this sign was provided by the PEI Watershed Management Fund. 2018.
Originally the Wrights lived in Norwood House (now 331 St. Peter's Road, in the trees on the hill, to your right, behind you). In approximately 1830, they built and moved to Belmont House (now 1 Oak Tree Crescent behind the present Kentucky Fried Chicken).
The Wright family operated the mills and farm until 1898, when the 20-acre mill property and the adjoining 170-acre Belmont Farm property were purchased by John B. Andrew, whose father had come from Scotland in 1852 to be the hired miller. The mills' use declined in the 1930s and they were torn down in the 1940s. The farm land belonging to Belmont House was farmed by the Andrew family until the 1960s.
2018, most of the original Cambridge property from the 1780s, which was bounded on the west by the present Arterial Highway and Riverside Drive, had been sold and resold several times and was mostly used or designated for residential development. The Andrew family are the longest continuous land owners and still reside on the mill property purchased from the Wrights in 1898.
Additional details of the area's history, wildlife and vegetation can be found along the Andrew's Pond Nature Trails (behind you across St. Peters Road) and along the East Royalty Nature Pathway, beginning 90 meters to your right, and heading south to the Hillsborough River.
The information on this sign was prepared by John W. Andrew, Co-Chair of the Wright's Creek Watershed Environmental Committee, and a present owner of the mill property. Photographs provided by the Andrew family.