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Forests and Lumbering in Newfoundland

(to 1949)


[This text was written in 1949. For the full citation, see the end of the document. Links have been added by Claude Bélanger.]

About 16,000 square miles, or approximately two-fifths of the area of Newfoundland is forested, mainly along the river valleys. Labrador has extensive forest areas along the coasts, but there has been no comprehensive inventory, and utilization is restricted to the requirements of the sparse population. In Newfoundland too, lumbering was at first on a small scale to supply local needs, and sawing was done by numerous small mills scattered along the coast.


The principal local operators were Christopher Fisher at Corner Brook, John Murphy at Gambo, Phillips at Gander, Sterrit at Glenwood, Horwood at Dog Bay and Campbellton, and Saunders and Howell at Canada Bay the two latter companies are still operating. As recently as 1940 there were 790 small mills in operation, with an average production of 35,000 board feet.


There were also, for some years, larger mills which exported lumber. The French Company of Quebec , operating mills at Botwood (1890-1900), was succeeded by the Exploits River Company (1900-1906), which was absorbed by the Newfoundland Pine and Pulp Company. The Lewis Miller Company of Scotland (1900-1903), with mills at Millertown and Glenwood, was sold to the Newfoundland Timber Estates Company, which shipped dimension stock from Lewisporte to Argentina, and in 1905 was resold to Anglo-Newfoundland Development Company. Central Forest Limited, which held limits on Rattling brook, Notre Dame bay, and Norris arm, and mills at Norris arm, was sold to the A. E. Reed Company which operated from Bishop's Falls.


Most of the extensive, though scattered, stands of white pine, upon which the lumbering industry was based, have been removed. The present forests consist of white birch, which has value as fuel, and of pulpwood species, so that lumbering has been replaced by the pulpwood industry.

Back to Newfoundland Economy

Source: W. Stewart WALLACE, ed., The Encyclopedia of Canada. Newfoundland Supplement, Toronto, University Associates of Canada, 1949, 104p., p. 73.



© 2004 Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College