Literature Available

 
Bernsohn, Ken. (1981) Cutting Up the North: The History of the Forest Industry in the Northern Interior. North Vancouver: Hancock House Publishers Ltd.
Location: PG Public Library, 338.47 Ber

Some lumber market recovery in October 1916: George McLaughlin of the Northern Lumber and Mercantile Company visited the east to find eastern lumber markets, consequently a new mill was built at Willow River and the old mill was moved to Giscome (80 men cut 20 million feet a year) (p. 24)

 

Giscome mill (Northern lumber built) bankrupted just after completion (p. 26)

 

PG Citizen: "Injured Hindu Refused Admittance to Hospital" – injured at Giscome lumber mill and brought to PG by train, eventually admitted due to efforts of Dr. Lyon and the mayor (July 1918) (p. 27)

 

1920 – dimension lumber selling (rough) at $32 per thousand board feet, (planed at $38 per thousand board feet); all major mills busy: United Grain Growers (the largest), Eagle Lake at Giscome, Upper Fraser Lumber Company, Aleza Lake Mills, Hansard Lake Lumber, Penny Lumber, Gale and Trick at Hansard Lake, and eleven other smaller mills

 

Roy Spurr, 1931, bought Eagle Lake Sawmill (previously managed by Winton Lumber), 6 million board feet a year, 35 men crew; Spurr was one of the first mill owners to begin replacing men with machines, to build all-weather logging roads, to put logging trucks on timetables, to supply showers and electric lights for men in logging camps, to sell mill-built homes for workers’ families (p. 35)

 

Early 40’s: The larger operations at Penny, Sinclair Mills, Upper Fraser and Giscome milled day and night (p. 51)

 

1945: Don McPhee, manager of Sinclair Mills and Roy Spurr, the boss at Eagle Lake, tried to get their workers a raise but Labour Relations Board turned them down (p.52)

 

American, Ernie Dalskog (IWA) came to organize a union (Eagle Lake, Six Mile Lake Sawmill, Sinclair Mills) (p. 52)

 

mid 40’s: the number of board feet cut -- 11,389,000 at Eagle Lake (p. 58)

 

Roy Spurr sold out at Eagle Lake, though he stayed on as manager (year is not stated) (p. 59)

 

1964: end of horse logging in the north - "Roy Spurr, at Eagle Lake, went out into the woods where a horse was hauling logs. ‘Take him to the barn,’ Roy said, ‘Then take good care of him. That’s the last logging horse in the north and he’s earned his rest’." (p. 108)

 

Oct.4, 1967 Strike (IWA); Northwood’s Eagle Lake, McGregor, Upper Fraser (p. 108)

 

1975: Northwood announced it was going to close down Eagle Lake Sawmill at Giscome (p. 148)

 

The residents of Giscome were given notice that the mill would be torn down and that all those who rented would have to leave by the end of June. A year and a half later Giscome was abandoned by most (p. 150)

 

 
Walski, Eileen E. (1985) Homemade Memories: A History of Willow River, BC. Steinbch, Man.: Derkson Printers Ltd.
Location: CNC, FC 3849.W54 H6 1985 c.1

1916: Frost moved his mill (Willow River Timber Co.) to Giscome, which he had to rebuild and then sold to the Winton brothers in the early 1920s (p. 2)

 

Lawrence and Gladys Keeler - Lawrence: worked for Eagle Lake Sawmills in Giscome (1940+) (p.79)

 

1960s: Giscome had taken over as the sawmill and planermill of the area (p. 104)

 

Many Willow River residents were driving to jobs at Giscome (p. 104)

 

1960s: Giscome Highway improvements (p. 104)

 

1964: Closure of Willow River school, Willow River children bussed to Giscome (p. 104)

 

1970s: (mid) Northwood closed its sawmill at Giscome (p. 104)

 

 
Bernsohn, Ken. (1981) Slabs, Scabs and Skidders: A History of the IWA in the Central Interior. Prince George: IWA Local 1-424.
Location: PG Public Library, LOC 331.88 BER

Logging was declared an essential industry. A law was passed allowing timber to be taken from anywhere necessary (date is not stated in text). The big operators at Penny, Sinclair Mills, Upper Fraser and Giscome milled as long as there was logs to cut, day or night, and still needed more production (p.11

)

1945: Roy Spurr (boss at Eaglet Lake) told his workers that he tried to get a raise for them, but the Labour Relations Board had turned him down saying, "why should we? They’re not even organized." (p. 12)

 

1945: IWA sent an organizer (Ernie Dalskog) to Eaglet Lake

 

Within one week everyone in the town of Giscome who worked in the woods or at the mill on Eaglet Lake was a member (p. 12-13)

 

Early 1960’s (Bernsohn doesn’t specify a date):  Northwood bought out Church Sawmills, Cornell Mills, Dewey Logging, Penny Spruce Mills, Sinclair Mills, Eagle Lake and Shelley (p. 54)

 

1967: The workers in McGregor, Eaglet Lake, Upper Fraser and other Northwood operations were organizing a strike committee, picketing, filling in strike relief forms for each worker and holding meetings (p. 56)

 

 
Mullins, Doreen K. (1989) "An Analysis of Key Factors Contributing to the Change in Structure and Location in the Forest Industry of Northern BC" In Thomas Thorner (ed.) Sa ts’e: historical perspectives on northern British Columbia. Prince George: College of New Caledonia Press.
Location: UNBC, FC3803.S25 1989.  In File: Academic Papers
The Eagle Lake Company was moved from the mouth of the Willow River to Giscome to take advantage of the timber shed (no date specified) (p. 478)
 
Hawkes, Brad C. (June 1997) "Significant Fire Years in the Prince George Area – A Media Perspective Taken from the Prince George Citizen Newspaper (1912 – 1961)" Submitted as part of a final report on a Retrospective Fire Study, Ecological Processes Team, University of Northern B.C., Faculty of Natural Resources and Environmental Studies. Victoria, B.C.: Fire Research Group, Canadian Forest Service, and Pacific Forestry Centre.
Copy of Article in File: Academic Papers

May 21, 1925:  Fire at Giscome brought under control.  Fire began in an old logging slash 2 km southeast of Giscome.  Crew of 100 people fighting the fire (p. 19)

 

1925/6:  Giscome mill was running a double shift of 150 men in the mill and 100 in the bush.  Listed in 1926 as the largest sawmill in the British Empire (p. 19)

 

Aug. 13 – Sept. 6, 1933: Fire near Giscome.  180 men fighting the fires.   The Giscome mill had a temporary closure in order to place every possible man on the fire line (p. 19-20)

 

May 7, 1942: Fire destroyed a sawmill on Giscome Road owned by Oscar Nordeen and Hjalmar Sjokvist (p. 23)

 

Aug, 1942:  large force of men were fighting fires near Giscome (p. 25)

 

 
Young, W. (1985) The Forest Industry of the Prince George Area: 1960 - 1984 --- Including the Dynamic Area. Paper presented at a Forest History Seminar in Prince George, 26 February 1985.
Location: Prince George Public Library, Local History Vertical File.  File name at Library: Forests and Forestry - BC - PG.  Copy of item in file: Forestry

1965: Eagle Lake Sawmills purchased Dewey Logging (p. 9)

 

prior to 1966 Paul Klotz Sr. worked for Eagle Lake Sawmills (it is quoted that he was "best known for his earlier years with Eagle Lake Sawmills") (p. 10)

 

1966: Northwood acquisition of Eagle Lake Sawmills, who had earlier purchased Penny Spruce Mills (p. 10)

 

1967: An IWA strike in October and November resulted in pulp mill closures at the Northwood Mills (p. 11)

 

1974: Northwood permanently closes the "old and historic" sawmill complex at Giscome, company sawlog production would now be routed to the modern sawmills at P.G. and Upper Fraser (p. 19)
 
Drushka, Ken (1998) Tie Hackers to Timber Harvesters: The History of Logging in British Columbia’s Interior. Madeira Park, BC: Harbour Publishing.

Approx. 1915: a Chicago grain exchange operator named Frost built a mill at Willow River.  After running it for a few years Frost moved it to Giscome.   Frost’s Willow River mill was the first in a rash of openings over the next couple of years (p. 83)

 

Northern Lumber (a company which provided lumber for railway construction) took over Frost’s mill at Giscome and called it Eagle Lake Sawmills, which ended up broke shortly after it opened (p. 83)

 

1923: the Winton Lumber Company, a family-owned firm founded in Wisconsin in 1889, bought the Giscome mill and called it Eagle Lake Spruce Mills.  When the forests in the northeastern U.S. had begun to disappear around 1900, the Wintons had acquired cutting rights and mills in other parts of North America (p. 84)

 

1906: the Wintons moved to Saskatchewan, and a few years later obtained a mill the The Pas, Manitoba. Later came to northern B.C. where they operated in the logging industry for nine years (p. 84)

 

1931: Wintons sold the business to Roy Spurr and Don McPhee (p. 84)

 

1930s: Mechanization of logging operations (trucks, crawler tractors).  Roy Spurr’s Eagle Lake Sawmill, was one of the first to mechanize.  Roy Spurr’s brother-in-law brought the new technology from New Westminister (p. 91)

 

1935: Despite the Depression, the Giscome mill was one of the largest operating in the Interior and one the earliest in the north, if not the entire Interior, to convert completely to trucks.  The mill and logging camps ran year round (p. 94)

 

After WWII, the wage freeze continued and even though mill owners (especially in the interior) tried to get wages raised to attract workers, they were turned down by the federal government. At Sinclair Mills and Eagle Lake Mills, Roy Spurr and Don McPhee advised their employees to get organized and bring in a union (p. 130).

 

1945: Ernie Dalskog, a tough experience organizer and a leader of the union’s left-wing faction, travelled through the interior, setting up locals at most of the bigger sawmills (p. 130).

 

“Eagle Lake Sawmills at Giscome Takes Over Old Mill,” WL 23 (Oct. 1926), 73.

From: The Royal British Columbia Museum’s Forest Industry of British Columbia’s Prince George Region : A Guide to Periodical Literature

 

“Eagle Lake Sawmills Outstanding Interior Operation,” BCL 32 (Aug. 1948), 107-8.

-good description of operations

From: The Royal British Columbia Museum’s Forest Industry of British Columbia’s Prince George Region : A Guide to Periodical Literature

 

“Eagle Lake Adds Lumber Stacker,” TL (Oct. 1950), 6.

From: The Royal British Columbia Museum’s Forest Industry of British Columbia’s Prince George Region : A Guide to Periodical Literature                                            

 

“High Capacity Sawmill on G.T.P.,” WL 14 (June 1917), 32.

From: The Royal British Columbia Museum’s Forest Industry of British Columbia’s Prince George Region : A Guide to Periodical Literature

 

“Big Giscome Mill May Run This Year,” WL 19 (May 1922), 38-9.

From: The Royal British Columbia Museum’s Forest Industry of British Columbia’s Prince George Region : A Guide to Periodical Literature

 

“Giscome Mill Ready to Run,” WL 19 (June 1922), 33.

From: The Royal British Columbia Museum’s Forest Industry of British Columbia’s Prince George Region : A Guide to Periodical Literature

 

“Interior Operator Uses Planks,” TL (Sept. 1948), 10.

-truck logging

From: The Royal British Columbia Museum’s Forest Industry of British Columbia’s Prince George Region : A Guide to Periodical Literature

 

“Interior: Eagle Lake Modernizes,” TL 114 (June 1956), 32

-skidder logging; camp and community conditions

From: The Royal British Columbia Museum’s Forest Industry of British Columbia’s Prince George Region : A Guide to Periodical Literature

 

“New Planing Mill at Eagle Lake Sawmill,” BCL 42 (Dec. 1958), 40-41

From: The Royal British Columbia Museum’s Forest Industry of British Columbia’s Prince George Region : A Guide to Periodical Literature

 

“Northwood Pulp adds Eagle Lake Mills,” TL 22 (May 1966), 16

-acquisition by Northwood Pulp Ltd.

From: The Royal British Columbia Museum’s Forest Industry of British Columbia’s Prince George Region : A Guide to Periodical Literature


“Proposed Eagle Lake Pulp Mill Would Provide Outlet for Small Timber of Northern Interior,” BCL 28 (Sept. 1944), 27.

From: The Royal British Columbia Museum’s Forest Industry of British Columbia’s Prince George Region : A Guide to Periodical Literature

 

Eagle Lake Sawmills Ltd. (C.1955). Eagle Lake Sawmills Ltd. Giscome: Eagle Lake Sawmills.

Location: Prince George Public Library, Local History Vertical File

File name at library: Eagle Lake Sawmills Ltd.

File: Forestry

From: The Upper Fraser Historical Geography Project research

 

H.M. Sedgwick, “Plank-Roads-15 Miles of Them Help Bring Out the Logs in B.C.,”             CL 69 (Dec. 1949), 54-55, 78.

-thorough account of logging and milling

From: The Royal British Columbia Museum’s Forest Industry of British Columbia’s Prince George Region : A Guide to Periodical Literature

 

Ramsey, Bruce. (1964). John Giscome's Country. Giscome: Eagle Lake Sawmills Limited.

Location: Prince George Public Library, call no. 971.12 Ram LOC

From: The Upper Fraser Historical Geography Project research

 

They Keep the Logs Moving,” WL 22 (Nov. 1925), 14.

-tractor logging

From: The Royal British Columbia Museum’s Forest Industry of British Columbia’s Prince George Region : A Guide to Periodical Literature