The Pembroke Lumber Company Rare Photo

The Pembroke Lumber Company Rare Photo

This is a pretty old photo taken before the fire in 1927– Id say it us the early 1900s-The historic sawmill of the Pembroke Lumber Co. built in 1860. I found it in a lot of photos I bought.

Kevin PercyLooks like “The Pembroke Livery Company” to me.

Jeff BrennanI see Pembroke Lumber Company.

.Brian SarsfieldProbably the Pembroke Lumber Company, beside the Ottawa River . Make be take prior to the fire of June 1918.

It’s the Pembroke Lumber Company pre 1918.. and all the photos will go back to the family but this one will go to the Pembroke Historical Society.. Thanks to everyone who identified the photo.

The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
05 Dec 1899, Tue  •  Page 6

The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
10 May 1900, Thu  •  Page 7
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
08 Apr 1902, Tue  •  Page 2
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
10 Sep 1913, Wed  •  Page 20
The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
19 Apr 1916, Wed  •  Page 13

Fire June 12,1927

PEMBROKE, Ont., June 12 1927– Fire, which it is estimated caused damage to the extent of a quarter of a million dollars Saturday, threatened to wipe out the entire industrial and business section of the town, and many buildings were saved from possible destruction only by a timely change in the direction of a stiff wind when the blaze was at its height.

The flames were fortunately confined to the yards of the Pembroke Lumber Company, where millions of feet of lumber were reduced to ashes. The cause of the fire is attributed to a bathing party of boys who used part of the lumber yards in which to dress and smoke. Between five and six million feet of lumber was destroyed. The burned area covers between twelve and fifteen acres and is flanked on either side by woodworking industries, including the yards and factories of the Canadian Match and Splint Companies, immediately to the west, but behind the path of the flames.

The scene of the fire parallels the main business street of the town only two blocks away. For three hours millions of dollars of property was in jeopardy. Scores of people removed their household effects from their homes and an hour after the alarm sounded the town generally prepared itself for the worst. It was a spectacular fire. Driven by a high northwest wind, the flames leapt from one lumber pile to another, until over three hundred were on fire. The air space used for drying purposes only served as a vacuum for the flames and the ordinary hydrant stream vanished into steam immediately it struck the outer edges of the fire.

Flames shot up hundreds of feet into the air and heavy clouds of smoke hung over the entire town and countryside. Historic Sawmill Saved. The historic sawmill of the Pembroke Lumber Co., built in 1860, and which has cut millions upon millions of feet of virgin pine of the Ottawa Valley, was saved, owing to the heroic efforts of the Pembroke and Renfrew fire departments, and of the mill workmen using their own fire-fighting equipment. This mill and other buildings and wharves along the river front repeatedly caught fire but were quickly put out.

The whole area for blocks around was thoroughly drenched, records showing that over two million gallons of water was pumped at the municipal station, not taking into account what was taken from the river by the gasoline pumpers of the Pembroke and Renfrew fire departments. It was early realized that it was a fruitless task to fight the fire proper and that efforts should be confined to saving adjoining property.

The news of the threatened conflagration spread rapidly to adjoining towns and proffers of aid came from almost every town between here and Ottawa, including Ottawa City. At five o’clock, half an hour after the fire started, Mayor Duff phoned Renfrew for assistance and the creamery town fire-fighters immediately responded, making the forty-four mile trip here in an hour and twenty minutes.

The firemen did not let up until seven o’clock this morning, meals and hot drinks being served at the scene of the fire. Several of the firemen were overcome, but were able to resume. The intense heat could be felt for blocks away. It is believed that a bathing party of small boys who used a lumber pile as a dressing shelter and smoking place, was responsible for the fire which for three hours threatened the entire town.

A high northwest wind which carried the covers off the lumber piles for hundreds of yards through the air and which blew directly into the business section, suddenly veered to the southwest at seven in the evening and the situation was saved. Loss Put at $350,000. E. Dunlop, president or the Pembroke Lumber Co., today stated that the lumber was all of export number one grade, cut over the last four seasons and which had not moved owing to stagnation in the lumber industry.

He placed the loss at a quarter of a million dollars and stated that his company was one hundred percent, insured. Some of the lumber destroyed had recently been sold, Mr. Dunlop said, and he did not know whether or not insurance had been placed on this by the purchasers. He corrected a report that a section of the lumber burned was the property of the J. R. Booth Company.

Sawing for this company was due to commence tomorrow morning and would be proceeded with. Sawing operations would not be interfered with by the fire, he said, his company having between six and eight weeks piling ground available outside the fire area. The burned-over yards are a mass of wreckage, the steel rails being twisted in every conceivable form by the intense heat. The fire will smoulder for days.

The Canadian Match and Splint Corporations, with an investment of over two millions, only a stone’s throw away from the origin of the fire, took every precaution. Streams of water played constantly’on their plants and lumber exceeding ten million feet of matchwood. The chemical building was emptied of Its content, which were taken out of danger. The general opinion in Pembroke today is that the town is very fortunate in having escaped a repetition of the conflagrations which visited the town In 1908 and 1918.

Both Mr. Dunlop. of the Pembroke Lumber Co., and Mr. Woodruff, general manager of the Canadian Match Co., are high in their praise of the manner In whim the situation was handled by Fire Chief Dry and his men, assisted by the Renfrew fire department.

Read about the Stewart family click here..


The town of Pembroke, about one hundred and twenty miles up the river from Ottawa, was founded in 1828 by Col. Peter White, a native of Edinburgh, Scotland, who was for many years one of the principal timber merchants of the Ottawa Valley. His sons have been actively engaged in the lumber business and by their enterprise have done much to build up their native town. Hon. Peter White, born at Pembroke August 30, 1838, after receiving a business training from an Ottawa mercantile firm, entered into partnership with his brother, Andrew T. White, now deceased, as A. & P. White, and for many years carried on an extensive lumber business which is still continued under the firm name. Mr. White is known best, perhaps, as an active politician. He was elected to Parliament in the Conservative interest for North Renfrew in 1874 and, with the exception of a brief interval, represented the constituency steadily until 1896. He was chosen Speaker of the House in 1891 and held that position during a parliamentary term, until 1896, in which year he was defeated in the general election. He carried the constituency again in 1904. Mr. White is a member of the Privy Council of Canada, to which he was called in 1897. He is a director of the Pembroke Lumber Company and is prominently identified with many local commercial enterprises. His brother and business partner, Andrew T. White, was also in public life and for some time represented North Renfrew in the Ontario Legislature.

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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