America's oldest sailmaker
Born to a family of sailmakers in Scotland, our founder, William J. Mills, settled in Greenport, NY on the North Fork of Long Island. The area, known for it’s impressive whaling and oyster fleets, was in need of a master sailmaker and thus William J. Mills & Company was born.
With the introduction of steam and gasoline powered engines at the turn of the 20th Century, William J Mills recognized that the days of a commercial fleet powered by sails were short lived. While maintaining its sailmaking roots with sail fabrication for small sailing yachts, the business diversified its services by fabricating awnings and other canvas products for homes and businesses as well as custom marine canvas products.
Today, we remain a family business that is owned and operated by the sixth generation of master sailmakers within the Mills family. Many of our old sail plans have been donated to the Mystic Seaport museum.
“Coecles Harbor Marina & Boatyard along with our boat building division CH Marine Yachts have been relying on Wm. J. Mills and Co. for all our canvas needs for over 40 years. Cushions, canvas, Navy top frames and sunshades, Mills had made them all for us. We’ve had some fairly complicated requests from clients that usually involve some head scratching. Once the techs from Mills arrive to discuss the project the job takes shape and clarity prevails. Our customers demand the best, Mills & Co provides that level of service and product. We have had a high success rate for fit and finish. Any miscalculations (usually on our part) have been handled swiftly, most times in a day or less. It’s refreshing to have a company stand behind their work and take such pride and care in what they do. We highly recommend Wm. J. Mills & Co. for all of your canvas and upholstery needs. PS – All of our canvas awnings, tents and frames at the marina have also been made and installed by Wm. J. Mills & Company”
“Claudio’s Restaurant in Greenport is the oldest same-family-owned and operated restaurant in the United States. Over the years, we have always turned to Wm. J. Mills & Company for our awning and canvas needs. We provide the best to our own customers, and we expect the best from our suppliers. Mills & Co. has always met our expectations. It is no accident that Claudio’s and Mills are the two oldest family-owned businesses on Eastern Long Island–Claudio’s since 1870, Mills since 1880. We both have prospered through high-quality service, and we are proud of this tradition.”