Gartcraig Scotland No 1 brick found in Quebec, Canada

Found by Jean Belanger on the shore of Pohenegamook lake in the province of Quebec, Canada.

Pohenegamook is a small town in which the main industry was wood production.

Gartcraig Scotland No 1 (The No 1 is not clear from the photo but Jean can see it in the actual brick)

Gartcraig Fire Clay Works, By Millerston, Glasgow.

Luc Sénéchal, cousin to Jean says ” Yes, there was an immense burner in this place, which eliminated the wood residue in order to supply boilers which supplied the steam necessary for the operation of the machines of a large sawmill. It was the NB Fraser Lumber. Where you found this brick is called Fraser Point. The foundations of this immense burner are still visible, as are the docks that received the logs for the sawmill, and the plant was dismantled and moved to Plaster Rock New Brunswick in ​​1938. As for the burner, it was dismantled and transported on the other side of the lake to the ice in winter where Pohénégamook Haut en Saveur was located where the Guérette Sawmill was burned on July 23, 1972.”

Source  – Donald Fraser, Scotch immigrant, came to New Brunswick in 1873. In 1877, he bought a little sawmill at River de Chute along the St. John River. In 1882, he formed the Donald Fraser & Sons Company with his sons Archibald and Donald Jr. In 1894, Fraser and Sons had built a large sawmill at Fredericton called the Aberdeen Mill. This mill burned in 1905 and was never rebuilt. It stood on the land currently occupied by the Delta Hotel in Fredericton. The exact cause was unknown but was suspected to have started among fine shavings that were hot from friction. The fire grew to intensity very quickly. The men working in the mill barely escaped with their lives, leaving coats and other personal belongings behind. There was no water main on Woodstock Road at the time and there was little that could be done. Mr Hawthorne and Mr Todd (of the former Alexandra Steam Engine Company) went to Morrison’s mill and got the old Alexandra Steam Engine, where it was serving after being retired from service by the city. It was fired up down by the shore of the river and performed admirably. After the fire, there was much public debate about the lack of fire protection on the Woodstock Road. Mr Fraser stated to City Council that he would rebuild, but only if water mains were extended to the site. The mill was never rebuilt.

Another mill, the Phoenix Shingle Mill formerly the (John A. Morrison Mill), ran at Victoria Mills, which is now part of Fredericton (Lincoln Road Boat Club area).

Frasers purchased Victoria Mills from the Scott Lumber Company in 1912. Then in 1916, they acquired the Phoenix Shingle Mill (formerly the John A. Morrison property) from James Murchie’s Sons Company.

From 1912 through World War Two, the Victoria Mill was the largest scale lumber mill on the Saint John River.

Donald Fraser died in 1916, at the age of 74, leaving an expansive legacy of 12 operating mills in New Brunswick and Quebec with vast timber holdings and leases. Fraser Lumber Company had become the largest lumber company in the Maritimes and one of the largest in Canada employing several thousand people.

From 1917 to 1940 the company continued, under the leadership of Archibald Fraser, Donald’s younger son, to build and buy new holdings. The lumber company spawned Fraser Paper as a subsidiary. There were several ups and downs culminating in the Great Depression. Both sons of Donald Sr. who were born in the Scotch Colony, were involved in the necessary restructuring of the companies but Archibald died in 1932 and Donald Jr. in 1940, eight years later. The Fraser name continued on with new leadership and into a whole new era.


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