The Westport Mirror was founded in 1893 by Harry E. Bywater, a career newspaper man from Southern Ontario. After four years, Bywater sold it to William B. Adams. Bywater went on to publish weekly newspapers in other towns across Ontario, eventually buying the Athens Reporter. He died in Athens in 1924.
Adams, who still has relatives in the area, drowned while swimming in the Upper Rideau in 1916. After his death, the newspaper was purchased by Arthur P. Niblock and his wife Cassie. Arthur died in 1947 and the newspaper was then operated by their son James R. (Jimmy) Niblock until his death in 1966 at the age of 54. His mother Cassie, passed away in 1969.
Jimmy Niblock’s death caused a disruption in the publishing schedule that lasted for close to a year, causing almost all issues before 1967 to disappear.
After almost 20 years, and 40 years in the business, the Hutchinsons sold The Mirror to Leeds Grenville MPP Bob Runciman and his father Sandy Runciman in May 1986. The senior Runciman was a career newspaper man from the Brockville Record & Times. He was to oversee the operation until Bob potentially took over after politics. Runciman’s political fortunes changed soon after and he sold the paper to Phil Rutherford and Bob Loucks in August 1987.
Howie Crichton purchased the newspaper in November 1993 and has published it ever since. They later bought out the free-distribution paper The Review and added the Review to the masthead.
The Mirror was printed on site with this press, from 1893 until 1967 when it was donated to the print shop at Upper Canada Village. This particular rotary press was invented around 1865.