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Empire Mills - June 1959

In March 1930, Empire Mills planned to merge with the Vancouver firm of Mount Baker Plywood Ltd. They had planned to move the firm's South Westminster veneer plant to Squamish. Due to the possibility of the Forest Service cutting back the boundaries of the Mill's tree farm license, the project did not get past the planning stage. In 1937, Empire Logging employed 20 men and by 1939, they were putting 60,000 - 70,000 board feet of wood in the water per day and employed approximately 30 men.
In the 1940's, Empire Mills acquired a sawmill situated by River Road. It had been built by Gerry Dent in the 1930's. In 1945, Empire Logging had bunkhouses set up in the hotel that used to be owned by the Galbraith's at the water's edge. Empire Logging had its first strike in 1948. Unions had just been formed at this time. John Jacobsen was the foreman for Empire Mills.
Empire Mills applied for tree farm license #38 on July 25, 1951. The application was approved and granted to Empire Mills on June, 15, 1954. The decision was appealed by the provincial cabinet on September 7, 1954.
Empire Logging shut down due to lack of a profitable market in August 1957.
In October 1958, Squamish independent sawmill and logging operators (12 firms) protested the granting of tree farm license #38 to Empire Mills stating that it created a dangerous monopoly. H.H. "Buster" Marks acted as chairman of the logger's group. Empire Milles planned to build a sawmill and plywood and board plant in Squamish if the tree farm license was granted. Council approved allocation of timber for Empire Mills in November 1958. On November 26, 1958, MacMillan Bloedell opposed the tree farm license stating that timber remaining outside the license area would be inadequate for independent loggers. Tree Farm License #38 was again approved to be granted to Empire Mills in January 1960.
In 1960, Kashmir Lumber Company bought Empire Mills' unused mill on River Road.
On June 2, 1961, Tree farm license #38 was granted to Keely and Jacobs of Empire Mills Ltd. A condition of granting the license was that the holder of the license had to build a plywood mill in Squamish to provide a minimum of 25 million board feet of lumber. The contract clause stated that 50% of the production had to be logged by outside contractors. Empire Mills formed a Lumber Division so that a mill could be built as stipulated in the tree farm license.
In 1961, Empire Logging produced 41,500 units of lumber (1 unit = 100 cubic feet).
Empire Mills Co. was bought by Canadian Colleries Resources Ltd. in 1962 and they obtained control of the tree farm license #38 area. They had the conditions of the license changed to building a hemlock sawmill instead of a plywood plant. This change was due to the overproduction of plywood and the resulting slower market.

Steam donkey along Cheekye at Yapp's Logging Camp

Squamish Timber Company's yarding donkey.

In 1907, Allan Newton Barbour and his brother Charles came to Squamish and logged using 6 yoke of oxen and took out six 24' logs a "turn" (load). The area logged was near the PGE Shops (by Castle's Crossing), across the river rom the shops, on the Burnt Ground near the cemetery, at Paradise Valley, and about five miles north of Cheekye. 2 to 20 men were employed. It was customary to log close to the river so the logs just had to be dragged into the river and floated to the Howe Sound where they were picked up by the Powell River company tugs and taken up to their mills. Log jams were broken up by men in canoes. Mr McComb was the first to tow logs down the river in a boat. The Barbours would later sell out to Mr Yapp. Mr Yapp's Squamish Timber Company was incorporated on March 21, 1907. In 1910, the Yapp Company cleared the Cheekye area. A steam donkey would haul the logs 400 feet and then an 8 horse team hauled them 1/2 mile on a skid road. Another donkey, called a roader, took the logs to the river. Here the logs followed a log trough. Instead of chokers, logging dogs were used. When the Howe Sound Northern Railway came into Cheakamus, the Yapp company used the train to transport logs to the booming grounds at Squamish. In 1911, a company owned by Mr Lamb took over the Yapp stand of timber.

In 1912, Arthur McIntyre, Fidolle Laviolette, Amedy Levesque, and George Laviolette ("The French Boys") won a steam donkey from Al Barbour in a poker game. Barbour had refused to sell it to them earlier. Mr Barbour went back to logging with horses hauling the timber out on skid roads until he could afford another donkey. The boys formed a partnership called the Laviolette, McIntyre, and Levesque Logging Co.

Squamish Advance: Thursday, October 9, 1952

TRADE BOARD IN GOOD MEETING

FINAL LINK OF PGE PLANNED

STILL ENJOYING THE WARM WEATHER

MORE CHANGES MADE IN B.C.H.I.S.

PGE ENJOYS RECORD MONTH

THE CRADLE

PGE COMPLETION INTERESTS CCF CLUB

SCHOOL PRINCIPAL WILL GO TO STATES

BRACKENDALE

LOCAL AND PERSONAL

GOOD FISHING

SUNSHINE SOCIETY
[PHOTO]

LIGHTS OUT

ATTENDS CONVENTION OF B.C. MUNICIPALITIES

STAGE 53

PUBLIC NOTICE

FALL SPORTS PROGRAM PLANS

LATEST REPORT ON POLIO HERE

RIDING CLUB IS FORMED HERE

CLASSIFIED ADS

GISELE MACKENZIE
[PHOTO]

Squamish Advance

Squamish Advance: Thursday, September 18, 1952

FIRST POLIO CASE RECORDED HERE

PGE RAILROAD HISTORY MADE

FORMER RESIDENT IS LAID AT REST

TENDERS CALLED FOR DREDGING JOB

PTA HOLDS FIRST FALL MEETING

TWO HURT IN TRAIN ACCIDENT

SQUAMISH HOSPITAL OFFICIALLY OPENED

FINISH SURVEY BY HELICOPTER

LOCAL AND PERSONAL

CLASSIFIED ADS

ROADS IN SHOCKING STATE

THE CRADLE

SOCRED CLOB IS FORMED HERE

BRACKENDALE

HOSPITAL INSURANCE

READING MATERIAL NEEDED FOR PATIENTS

WOODFIBRE WINS FINAL GAME

CARD OF THANKS

Squamish Advance: Thursday, February 21, 1952

LOCAL SERVICE FOR LATE KING

LOCAL GIRLS ATTEND CGIT CONVENTION

CCF CLUB IS FORMED HERE

TRAIN SERVICE BACK ON SCHEDULE

PLANS START ON SQUAMISH ROAD

BE THERE!
LEGION BUILDING SHOWING PROGRESS

BRACKENDALE

SOMETHING NEW

HELICOPTER PILOTS TO TRAIN HERE

LOCAL AND PERSONAL

DONALD MANSON
[PHOTO]
DIRECTOR OF THE CBC

PTA PLANS COUNTRY FAIR

A SKIER'S PARADISE
[PHOTO]

HOSPITAL READY IN EARLY APRIL

COFFEE SHOP WILL RE-OPEN

ANOTHER LOGGING SHOW OPENED

JAMES NESBITT
[PHOTO]
PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER

CLASSIFIED ADS

COMMUNICATIONS

GOVERNOR-GENERAL

PARLIAMENT OPENS

REID FORSEE
[PHOTO]

AROUND TOWN

Squamish Advance

Squamish Advance: Thursday, August 20, 1953

TRAINMEN SIGN NEW CONTRACT

MORE FLOWER STANDS FOR FAIR

TENNIS COURT COMPLETED

COMING EVENTS

DENTAL CLINIC RATES EXPLAINED

SIDEWALKS AND ROADS RECEIVE ATTENTION

LEGION FILM AND SMOKER

RUSSELL --- FOWLER

RECENT WEDDINGS OF INTERSET HERE

LOCAL AND PERSONAL

SUMMER DOCUMENTARIES
[PHOTO]

FISH ARE IMPORTANT TOO

SUFFER IN SILENCE
[PHOTO]

LOCAL AND PERSONAL

SUMMER SCENE IN GARIBALDI PARK
[PHOTO]
VIEW OF DIAMOND HEAD FROM ELFIN LAKES AND THE CHALET

BEACH PARTY FOR IVAN SMITH'S

BRACKENDALE

CLASSIFIED ADS

MAKING A HIT
[PHOTO]

STAFF CHANGE AT HOSPITAL

Squamish Advance

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