AOTHOriginally settled in 1819 by David Shepherd, Almonte went through a number of name changes in its infancy, from Shepherd’s Falls to Shipman’s Mills, Ramsayville, Victoriaville and Waterford. Almonte found its name in General Juan Almonte who was the Mexican Ambassador to the U.S. The British citizens of the area decided Almonte was a suitably admirable public figure to name a town. And so Almonte gained its new name in 1859.

By 1870 Almonte grew with the ventures of the textile mills, stores and businesses. The rapid expansion of the national rail system helped the textile industry boom. By the turn of the century, there were several woollen mills operating in Almonte, providing work and job security. Mill-working became a way of life, passed from generation to generation until the 1950s.

Today, Almonte has switched focus and become an artistic centre for the Ottawa Valley. Home to a number of girls at eventartists, musicians, potters and textile artists. The Mississippi Valley Textile Museum helps to preserve our local history of the area. The Mississippi Valley Conservation Area of the Mill of Kintail is home to two of the community’s museums- R. Tait McKenzie and Dr. James Naismith Museums- and a celebration of two of Almonte’s claims to fame: the artistic influence of McKenzie and the impact of Naismith, the former Almonte resident and Canadian inventor of basketball!

Photo Credit: Mike Ruttan
Photo Credit: Andre Guindon
Photo Credit: Paul Latour