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Edwards & MacLean / Bathurst Power & Paper Co. Ltd.

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In 1890, a companywas formed under the name of Cascapedia Manufacturing and Trading Company by Senator William C. Edwards. Angus MacLean joined Sen. Edwards about 1904. Some years earlier Sen. Edwards purchased 659 square miles of limits on the Grand and Little Cascapedia Rivers, to which he added another 558square miles in 1907, which he acquired from Robitaille.

A Montreal firm was incorporated in 1895 under the name New Richmond Lumber Co. Ltd. and a sawmill was constructed by them on the banks of the Little Cascapedia.In 1904, the company was bought by group of investors, of whom Angus MacLean was one. Thus, the assets were acquired by the CascapediaManufacturingand Trading Company and the name changed. The mill continued to be known locally as Angus MacLean’s Mill and in various publications as Edwards & MacLean. It was situated in approximately the same area as the “Company” sawmill and garage in existence during the 1960s. A large sawmill empolying 150 workers was also operated by this company in Bonaventure.

Cascapedia Mfg. & Trading Co. Headquarters in Chaleurs, c.1930The sawmill in New Richmond continued to run until 1914, providing employmentto about 200 people. MacLean planned to build a large paper mill in New Richmond but was unable to obtain tax exemptions from the government, so he moved his milling operations to Bathurst,New Brunswick,where he formed the Bathurst Power & Paper Co. He then built the large paper mill that is still in operation in Bathurst. He did retain his Quebec limits, however, and continued to obtain his pulp from this side of the Bay, shipping the logs to Bathurst by rail for processing. There was a spur track running directly to the lumber yard to facilitate the loading of the logs. The driving of the logs for the Bathurst mill began in 1925 and continued up until 1964, using the Grand Cascapedia, Little Cascapedia and Bonaventure rivers. This practice ceased on the Little Cascapedia River in 1949 but continued until 1964 on the Grand Cascapedia.

Although the wood was being sent out of the area for processing, the Cascapedia Manufacturing and Trading Company maintained an important presence in this area, as it was the headquarters for the forestry division of Bathurst Power & Paper.In addition to the offices in Chaleurs, there was a blacksmith shop, large barn for the many horses needed in the woods operations and a store. The store served not only Company employees but also the residents of Chaleurs, Black Cape and surrounding areas. The post office for the area of Chaleurs and the Little River was always located in the store, or nearby, depending on the political party in power at the time. For some years the only rink in the area was in the large field behind the Company barns and this same area was used as a baseball field and the site for the annual High School Track Meets.
One of the Village homes, 1947A small-scale “Company Town” also grew up about one quarter of a mile northeast of the offices and stores. The houses were built on a small rise of land and consisted of 12 to 15 homes, as well as a staff house where employees were offered room and board. In the earliest days of the Village, there were board sidewalks running through the Village and the street was lighted with lanterns. This area was always referred to as “The Village” as well as by other names such as “Buffalo Town” and “Slab Town”, but “The Village” is the name fondly remembered by everyone who lived or visited there.Unfortunately, no pictures showing the entire village have been located but pictured at left is one of the larger homes which was occupied by Lawrence Underhill, David Armour and many other families throughout its history.

A new sawmill was opened in Chaleurs in 1962 but it ceased operations in 1972.

In 1963, Bathurst Power & Paper Co. began construction of a new linerboard mill in New Richmond (Chaleurs). Completed in 1965, the mill produced its first roll of linerboard on August 29, 1965.There were then350 workers at the new mill and another 450 in the Woodlands and Garage divisions,for a total of 800 people from the area employed by the “Company”. A fleet of 450 vehicles also had to be maintained, making the Garage an important aspectof the operation of the Company.

Consolidated-Bathurst Sawmill, Chaleurs, 1965By 1990, the total number of mill workers had risen to 450. In the past decade, however, this number has decreased substantially due to computerization, complete closure of the Garage and Woodlands divisions and “downsizing”.

Between 1964 and 1979, Bathurst Power & Paper Ltd. (Les Papeteries Bathurst Ltée) held the rights to 605 square miles of timber limits in the Bay of Chaleur and in the interior of the Gaspé Peninsula. The company gaveup their limits in 1977 and along with the transportation of wood in 1978, following the revocation by the Québec Government of timber concessions. Since that time they have purchased their logs from sawmills in the area.

Cascapedia Mfg. & Trading Co. Headquarters in Chaleurs, c.1930In 1968, the name of the company was changed (along with the ownership) to Consolidated-Bathurst Ltd., the name it continued to operate under until 1989 when it was purchased by Stone Container Corp. of the U.S. It then became Stone-Consolidated and later Les Emballages Stone. As it has once again changed ownership, it is now called Smurfit-Stone.