The Mills of Waterford – Site No. 3

1845 Millsite#3 highlited
Waterford Mills Site No. 3 highlighted

Harden & Cook – Wagons and Buggies

Mill Site No. 3 appears to have been vacant until around 1874 when Harden and Cook bought the site at Sheriff’s auction for one dollar and  seventy five cents ($1.75) in payment of 1868 back taxes, plus court costs. He also purchased some legal rights from Weage, or perhaps settled a lien Weage had against the property, for twenty five dollars.

A property value of eighty dollars is shown in the 1873 property tax records.  In 1874, the records show a value of five-hundred dollars indicating that a building was built on the site during that year. It had access to the Run-a-by canal for shared water power.

Harden and Cook, manufacturer’s of wagons and buggies would have production continue until1887. There is an obvious difference in dates  written on the photo and the land records.

695-Harden & Cook Mill site 3
Wisconsin Digital Collection

An article in Burlington Standard Press, May 6, 18871, gives a brief description of the business.

1875-5-6 Harden-Cook Article BS
Editorial in Burlington Standard Press, May 6, 1887 edition.

In 1886, Harden sold the south fifty seven feet to James Quinn while the north half was sold to C.B. McCanna.

C.B. McCanna – Creamery

Photo courtesy of Burlington Historical Society

Charles B. McCanna resided in Burlington and operated creameries in  Burlington, Waterford, Dover, Honey Creek, Rochester, New Munster, Caldwell, Kansasville and Windsor. Waterford’s factory produced cheese and butter. In 1893, McCanna joined forces with R.G. Frazer creating a new company, McCanna & Frazer Co., expanding their operation to 12 – 15 creameries in the area. In 1898, they organized Wisconsin Condensed Milk Co.. The company’s production ranged from 10 – 12 carloads per week.2

Judging from the following six month contract in 1892 with Frazer, for $50,000, it had to be a substantial operation.

McCanna-Fraser Purchse contract-1892-7-5
Purchase Contract between McCanna and Frazer- Burlington Historical Society Archive.
CB McCanna Location on Sanborn
C.B. McCanna & Co. location on 1911 Sanborn Fire Map.

Sometime shortly before 1920, McCanna & Frazer sold the Waterford operation to Nestle’ Foods. They continued to operate into the 1930’s.

Nestle Creamery ca 1920-wpl00188x
Nestle Creamery looking south on River Street, ca. 1920 – wpl00188x
Nestle Creamery ca 1920 - Inside-wpl00188x
Nestle Creamery ca. 1920 – Inside equipment – wpl00188x
Nestle employees ca 1920s
Nestle’ employees ca. 1920’s – Wisconsin Digital Collection

Quinn built a building and operated a business from 1887 to 1897 on the south half of the site.

Jacob Schenkenberg – Livery Repairs and Auto Storage

In March of 1898, Quinn sold the south fifty seven feet of Mill Site No. 3 to Jacob Schenkenberg.  Schenkenberg had a livery and repair operation on the north side of the first block east of the bridge.  It appears that he re-purposed Quinn’s facility and expanded the operation to include repair of equipment. Later, storage and repair of automobiles are shown on the 1911 and 1926 Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps.  Schenkenberg’s owned the property at least until 1985.

Today, the Waterford Village Hall occupies this site and part of Site No. 4 as shown in the overlay on a Google Map.

Overlay-Mills-Village bldgs2
Village buildings on a Google Map overlay

Waterford Village Official Website link HERE

Lead Researcher: Robert E. Gariepy, Sr.

NOTE: Should the reader have further documentation to enhance the content of this web page, please contact the Lead Researcher through Absolutely Waterford.  We are particularly interested in pictures or historic artifacts that may be shared.  Credit will be given.


  1. Article, Burlington Standard Press, May 6, 1887 edition
  2. Commemorative Biographical Record of Prominent and Representative Men of Racine and Kenosha Counties Wisconsin Containing Biographical Sketches of Business and Professional Men and Many of the Early Settled Families (published in 1906), p.68 Ref:
  3. Racine County Register of Deeds – various documents