Thursday, May 17, 2018

Gillies Bros. Lumbering Firm Plaque

On the north side of Usborne Street about halfway from where Usborne connects to River Road in Arnprior, Ontario, to where it connects to River Road in Braeside, Ontario, stands the plaque commemorating Gillies Brothers Lumbering Firm.


This firm was begun in 1873 when James, William, John and David Gillies purchased a sawmill here on the Ottawa River at Braeside. Building on the experience acquired by their father, John Gillies, who had begun lumbering in Lanark County in 1842, the had established themselves by the mid-1880's as one of the Ottawa Valley's large lumber producers. This position was maintained partly by the involvement of succeeding generations in the management of the firm and by careful acquisition and exploitation of timber limits. In the twentieth century, despite the exhaustion of stands of virgin pine and pressures to diversify, Gillies continued almost exclusively to manufacture pine. In 1963 the firm was sold to Consolidated Paper Corporation, ending 90 years of family ownership.

Erected by the Ontario Heritage Foundation, Ministry of Culture and Recreation