Ontario's Historical Plaques 

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The Gillies Bros. Lumbering Firm

Gillies Bros. Lumbering Firm

Photo by contributor George Nassas - Posted August, 2006

Gillies Bros. Lumbering Firm

Photo by contributor Brian Bockus - Posted May, 2017

Gillies Bros. Lumbering Firm

Photo from Google Street View ©2016 Google - Posted October, 2016

Plaque Location

The County of Renfrew
The Township of McNab/Braeside
On Usborne Street, east side
at the entrance to the plant
1.8 km south of Road 1 (River Road) in Braeside

Coordinates: N 45 27.504 W 76 23.275


Plaque Text

This firm was begun in 1873 when James, William, John and David Gillies purchased a steam sawmill here on the Ottawa River at Braeside. Building on the experience acquired by their father, John Gillies, who had begun lumbering in Lanark County in 1842, they had established themselves by the mid-1880's as one of the Ottawa Valley's large lumber producers. This position was maintained partly by the involvement of succeeding generations in the management of the firm and by careful acquisition and exploitation of timber limits. In the twentieth century, despite the exhaustion of stands of virgin pine and pressures to diversify, Gillies continued almost exclusively to manufacture pine. In 1963 the firm was sold to the Consolidated Paper Corporation, ending 90 years of family ownership.

Related Ontario plaque
Timber Rafting on the Ottawa



Here are the visitors' comments for this page.

> Posted October 18, 2016
I am writing the history of the Montreal River and the lumbering which took place there. The Gillies Lumbering Co. was situated on the Montreal River at Gillies Depot just south of Latchford, Ontario. I am interested in any and all information, documents and/or photos in relation to the lumbering operations, the family and the Depot itself. I also note that the Gillies Depot was part of the Matabanick Trail which I am also following up with. Thank you in advance.
Nina Chamaillard jlnccc@muskoka.com

> Posted March 13, 2013
I am trying to gain info on my grandfather Hiram Arthur Clarke. He worked for Gillies, but I don't even know when.
Thank you for any help in my search. T. Jepsen

> Posted January 30, 2013
My gr gr grandfather James Stark was the brother of Helen Stark Gillies, the wife of James Gillies. I have a copy of a letter from James Gillies to my Gr Gr Grandfather, describing his land, his farm animals, his children's names etc. I also have an original letter from Isabella Gillies Bain. There are also copies of several letters from a brother in Scotland and nephews in New York State and Kingston. If you're interested in Genealogy, I would be glad to hear from you.
Gloria Stark Brown - Milton Historical Society

> Posted November 19, 2012
My Grandfather [Thomas Dyre Moore] was the Millwright for Gillies circa the '20s '30s and '40's. He lived in Braeside at what is now #14 Gillies Street. Like the Gillies family he attended the United Church in Braeside. Circa 1939 my grandfather purchased John A.'s {??) car from him as he was about to trade it. It was a Midnight Blue/Black coloured 1936 Chevrolet Master Deluxe 4 door and I had many weekend drives in it as a child growing up (I was born in 1948 and my mother was Thelma Daisy Moore his only daughter; grandfather deceased 1965; resting in old Arnprior cemetery; Albert St.; mother deceased 1976; residing Capital Memorial Gardens; Ottawa).

> Posted April 9, 2012
Another set of Gillies brothers emigrated from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, after the American Civil War, establishing themselves as successful contract boat, bridge and dock builders by the turn of the 20th century. They were responsible for building major piers along the Hudson and East Rivers. While Gillies is a common name in Canada and Nova Scotia, is it possible these "other Gillies" had ties to the lumbering magnates? I wondered if the Gillies who were dock builders used the Gillies Bros. straight pines for timber dock piling. - Thanks. David Gillies

> Posted January 21, 2012
Hi Leonard, My name is Austin Simpson and I went to the school in Canonto in 1946. I am also trying to get some history on Canonto and Folger as I was born at Folger along with most of my ancestors. I would appreciate any info you have on Canonto. asimpson59@cogeco.ca.

> Posted May 26, 2011
Attempting to do a history of Canonto, Ontario. Wish to know when the Gillies mill was constructed - date - Thank You
Leonard Emery

> Posted July 3, 2010
This plaque makes me proud to be a Gillies. John Sr. was my great X6 grandfather.

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