Society of Powell River

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Townsite Heritage

The Powell River Company was incorporated in 1909 by
Dr. Dwight Brooks, Anson Brooks and M.J. Scanlon.

This area's deep harbour, and the energy potential which would be available from a dammed Powell River, convinced these gentlemen from Minnesota to build the largest Pulp and Paper Mill in Western Canada.   

The company was initially beset by problems significant enough to cause the cofounders to reconsider whether to proceed with the massive undertaking. The building of the dam presented a number of challenges, one being the displacement of many people to make way for the dam's watershed.

Philosophical Foundations

Powell River Paper Pioneers

Paper Machine

Scanlon and Brooks 1908

In spite of all the difficulties, paper rolled off the Number One Paper Machine for the first time in 1912, an accomplishment the entire community of Powell River celebrated. Just a year later, the mill had four paper machines up and running at 650 ft per second (the fastest in the world at the time) and producing 250 tons of paper a day.

By the mid 1960's the Powell River Mill was the highest producer of wood fibre pulp and paper newsprint in the world.

The Mill was purchased from the Powell River Paper Company in 1955 by MacMillan Bloedel and was sold in 1998 to Pacifica Papers.