The sawmill, with its tall stack belching smoke, soon became a landmark in Stratford and it was the subject of a large painting which was displayed in the window of White's Furniture Store on Ontario Street in February 1928. The picture was painted by A. E. Hunter of the White company and was taken from a small photo owned by A. Moderwell, who lived on William Street. The title of the picture was Easson's Old Mill and it relayed a vivid idea of Stratford in the early days.
The mill was run by a large steam engine and was composed of several buildings. They occupied a considerable amount of space along the river, behind the houses on William Street, most of which were built by Mr. Easson on Easson property. Originally, these were workers' homes, built for employees of the mill. There were also stables, and a blacksmith's shop, and in the rush season of winter, the mill employed upwards of 150 men, including those cutting and harvesting trees in the swamp and bush which still covered a large part of Perth County.
William Easson built the large mansard-roofed house which still stands 113 William St. It was known as Avon Castle, and was erected soon after the mill was operational. The property later occupied by Falstaff Public School was used
by Easson to store logs. His lumberyards occupied a major part of the land on both sides of Waterloo Street.
Easson's business career was a success from the start, and with the coming of the Grand Trunk Railway he received large GTR timber contracts for a number of years. He became one of the leading businessmen in town. Well liked by his employees, they called him Boss Easson. With notes from Stanford Dingman
* According to Mary Jane Lennon in her book, A Stratford Album, Boss Easson was a man who worked hard and played hard, and slept through many Sunday sermons at Knox Presbyterian Church because he'd been up partying most of the previous night.