Local History Books that are out of print but are in the City Library and may be read but not borrowed, at the Museum:
  • In Paradise: West Coast Short Stories 1890 - 1960 – Barbara Lambert
  • Powell River’s First 50 Years – Powell River News
  • Pulp, Paper and People – Karen Southern and Peggy Bird
  • Mysterious Powell Lake – Carla Mobley


Powell River Company Limited fonds. – [1900]-2001

Extent: 10.25 m of textual records and other materials.

Administrative history:

At the turn of the century the Canadian Industrial Company owned pulp leases on Lot 450 in Powell River, British Columbia and the Pacific Coast Power Company owned the water of Powell Lake.  These two companies merged in 1909, and a Minnesota firm Brooks and Scanlon purchased the rights to the pulp leases and the water of Powell Lake. They had working capital of $1,000,000 and in 1909 the Powell River Paper Company was incorporated.

It soon became apparent the initial investment of two paper machines would not be sufficient and more funds would be needed immediately to increase the capacity to four paper machines. Bonds were issued and the founders made personal guarantees for the required million and a half dollars. Skilled employees were brought in from the Crown Willamette Company in Oregon.  In 1911 the company was renamed and incorporated as the Powell River Company.  Norman Lang was acquired from Crown Willamette as manager under the condition Crown Willamette be allowed to purchase the majority shares of the Powell River Company.

The first roll of saleable newsprint was produced in April 1912.  That year, the company started construction of the town that grew up around the plant site.  Known as the “Townsite”, the community consisted of 401 individual homes for the employees.  The Powell River Company hired Dr. Andrew Henderson as its physician and he built the first hospital, St. Luke’s, in 1913.
The company built Powell River’s first school, Henderson School, on Ash Street in 1913.  The company also built Brooks School in 1926.  Brooks was built as an elementary school and later became the community’s only secondary school.

The Powell River Company merged with MacMillian Bloedel in Dec 1959 and became known as MacMillan Bloedel & Powell River Ltd.  Harold Foley, former president of the Powell River Company and other former directors of the Powell River Company, resigned as directors from the merged company in 1961.   In 1966 Powell River was dropped from the name and the company became MacMillan Bloedel Ltd.  In 1998 MacMillian Bloedel sold the plant and the site to Pacifica Papers.  MacMillan Bloedel retained their timber rights, which included Stillwater Division, until they sold them to Weyerhaeuser in 1999.  Weyerhaeuser sold these rights to Cascadia shortly after purchasing them.

Pacifica Papers divested themselves of the Powell River and Lois Lake dams and Powell River Energy was formed.  In August 2001 Pacifica Papers sold the mill and plant site to Norske Skog Canada Ltd.  With the increased holdings the name changed to NorskeCanada.  In Oct 2005 the shareholders approved another name change, this time to Catalyst Paper Corporation.

Scope and content:

Fonds consists of the textual records and other material created by the Powell River Co. and its successor, MacMillan Bloedel Ltd. from 1909 - 1992.  Fonds includes history, minutes, correspondence, financial records, legal records, specifications, reports, personnel records, notes, speeches, lists, publications, manuals, pamphlets, statistics, a press release, manufacturing formulae, art, calendars, ephemera, maps, and photos.  Fonds arranged in the following series:

1)History;
2)Minutes, 1924, 1930, 1946-1950;
3)Correspondence1909-1999;
4)Financial records, 1910-1990;
5)Legal records 1905-1948;
6)Specifications, 1912-1923, 1959;
7)Reports, 1912-1992;
8) Personnel records, 1908-2001;
9)Notes, 1937-1972;
10)Speeches, 1949, 1964, 1975-1986;
11)Lists, 1920-1964;
12)Publications, 1923-1999;
13)Manuals, 1915-1971;
14)Pamphlets, 1930-1951;
15)Statistics, 1942-1989;
16)Press releases, 1959;
17)Manufacturing formulae, 1965-1971;
18)Art, 1930-1990;
19)Calendars, 1983-1987;
20)Ephemera, 1914-1988;
21)Maps; and
22)Photos.

The Powell River Company Limited fonds were re-appraised, re-arranged and re-described in July 2008 by Linda Wills, Powell River Museum staff and volunteers with assistance from the Canada Council of Archives, National Archives Development Programme.

last updated: 2010-Jun-19