18. Rural Industry
During the Seventeenth Century the dominant economy of the Strabane area was agricultural with two fairs per week being held in the town and merchants exporting via the port of Derry. In the early Eighteenth Century this was supplemented by the Linen Industry. Taking advantage of climate, ready power supply for watermills and demand, the industry thrived. By 1824 the area’s linen business, focused on Strabane, was ranked as the third most important in all Ireland. Most of the rivers in the area have remnants of mills. Siverbrook Mills c.1830 near Donemanagh gives a good impression of the type. Miller’s Mill in Artigarvan had one of the largest water wheels on the island.