From Millertown to Fleet Street: The Early Years of Paper Making in Central Newfoundland

Most of these photos would have been taken by early Grand Falls photographer JCM Hayward.

Prospective loggers came in response to adds like this, word of mouth or because they know one of the early contractors or foremen. Hundreds had been employed cutting for the lumber industry. Thousands would be employed by the pulp and paper industry.
cutting pulpwood 1925
Cutting pulpwood sometime before 1925.  Note the two handed crosscut saws.
A.N.D Co logger chopping down a tree circa 1919. As noted when this picture was used before, the logger is cutting a birch tree to burn for power at the mill rather than for paper. Some old time loggers noted that in early years they were expected to cut wood with only an ax! (GFWHS)


Prior to 1920 wood was mostly hauled by horse or oxen. It has come to light that steam cable skidders and possibly a Lombard Log hauler were used experimentally between 1910-1920.
log drive rollign logs mha
Rolling Logs into a lake or river. In April and May this would have been wet and uncomfortable work.
Log drive SS Annie
Most of the early logging was done on the shores of Red Indian Lake, which meant that booms of logs had to be towed to the dam where the lake flowed into the Exploits River. The “Alligator” warping tug SS Annie was bought by the AND Co when they acquired the Millertown property.  This boat had originally been purchased by Lewis Miller.
log drivers picking a jam maritime history archive.
Log drivers at work. The early log drives were much more difficult than later ones since they were driving long wood, which would become easily tangled and jammed.
Log drivers clearing a jam, likely between Badger and Grand Falls. There were certain areas like the sand bars where situations like this would occur. This wood is probably jammed on one of the sandbars between Badger and Grand Falls.
Logs in the holding boom at Grand Falls.
The mill 1912 hayward
A far cry from how it looked in later years, Grand Falls mill Circa 1911-12. The water tower is located on top of the sulphide mill where chemical pulp was made. (Hayward Photo)
log drive grand falls jackladder MHA
The Mill Pond and jackladder at Grand Falls. The jackladder was a conveyor that hauled logs from the water into the slasher mill where it was cut into smaller lengths. During this time period larger logs would have also been culled out and run through the Company’s sawmill to be turned into lumber for building.
Jackladder 1912 Hayward
More detailed view of logs coming up the jackladder from the river. (JCM Hayward Photo Hayward Photo Album )
jackladder 1912 2 Hayward
Men working with pike poles to guide the long wood onto the jackladder to the slash mill.
Slasher mill 1912 Hayward
The long logs were slashed into smaller and more more manageable lengths.
Woodroom early 2
Grinder room, logs would be fed into grinders which would break them down into fiber.  Wood for chemical pulp would pass through chippers, which if I recall correctly in the early years was described as a  rotating disk with attached knives that chipped the wood, kind of like a giant foot processor.
grinder-feeding grinder.
Feeding logs into grinders 1919. Chipped logs would also be broken down chemically in the sulphite mill. The different types of fiber produced by the mechanical and chemical processes were needed to make quality news print. In the chemical process wood was “cooked” into pulp rather than ground.
pocket grinder.PNG
Illustration of a pocket grinder like those used at the Grand Falls mill (Wayman, Guide for Planning Pulp and Paper Enterprises)
pulping process encyclopedia of health and safety.PNG
The two types of pulping process carried out at Grand Falls in the early years. (
part of the mill 1919
View of the sulphite tower. Water from the tower leeched into tubes below it, which were filled with limestone. This was one of the chemical processes that created the acids which would digest wood chips into chemical pulp.
The core room. Cores were made to wind the rolls of paper.
Pulp machines rolling off sheets of pulp to be pressed and baled for export. For many years both ground-wood pulp and chemical sulphite pulp were produced for export.
paper machine finished roll 1910
Pulp would go into to what was called the “wet end” of a paper machine and come out as finished newsprint.
Excellent and simple diagram of how a paper machine (alos known as a Fourdrinier Machine) works                                                                                                                            1. Headbox: The soggy wet mass of pulp starts off here. It could be a mixture of wood pulp and recycled paper fibers.
2. Mesh: Sometimes called the Fourdrinier table or wire, this is where most of the water from the pulp is removed and the paper slowly starts to form.
3.Suction boxes: While some of the water simply drips through the mesh, more is removed by suction boxes (a bit like box-shaped vacuum cleaners designed to suck up water).
4. Dandy roll: This large roller puts a watermark, pattern, or texture on the paper.
5.Felt belt: The forming paper runs over a rotating felt belt that mops away further moisture.
6. Dryer: The paper loops back and forth over more felt rollers and heated dryers.
7. Calenders: The rollers at the very end smooth the paper so it’s of completely uniform thickness.
8. Paper roll: The paper is all finished and ready to use. (Link)
Finished roll of paper 1912 Hayward
Finished roll of paper ready to come off the machine. The pieces of paper on the floor were known as “broke,” they were gathered back up by workers known as broke or break hustlers and pulp into the pulping machines.


Paper moving AND Co
Completed roll of paper ready for shipment from Botwood. At the mill storage sheds the paper would be loaded aboard box cars for the 22 mile trip to Botwood. This handling was also carried out with an early type of electric forklift.
The paper train 1912 hayward
Paper train headed for Botwood. Note the barren and burned landscape.
pulp at Botwood 1912 Hayward
Pulp bales and boxcars full of paper awaiting shipment at Botwood. It should be noted that in addition to paper from Grand Falls, pulp from both the AND Co’s Grand Falls mill and the A.E Reed Company’s Bishop’s Falls mill was shipped out of Botwood. (Hayward Photo)
Wharf Botwood 1912 Hayward
Anglo-Newfoundland Development Company wharf at Botwood (Hayward Photo 1912)
Loading paper at Botwood Tritonia photo album.PNG
Loading paper aboard ship, Botwood, Circa 1910-1912. (Tritonia Photo Album)
Tritonia at Botwood
The “Tritonia” loading pulp and paper at Botwood.
Newsprint from Grand Falls 1910.jpg
Newsprint produced at Grand Falls on the way to the Daily Mail’s presses on Fleet Street, circa 1910. Papers produced from wood harvested deep within the Newfoundland interior would be read by hundreds of thousands of people in the UK every day.
Harmsworth mill paper-free farms for thousands..JPG
Finished product? maybe? The pages were no doubt produced at Grand Falls, but this cover looks like card stock!


  1. I am now living on the jack ladder in Bishops Falls.. I would love to see pictures of this area back in the day!!

    Do you have any or know of anyone with some

    Neil O’Reilly



    • There is one on here from the 50’s or 60’s. There would have been a jackladder at the pulp mill, but I think the one you are referring to was the one that was in use from 1951-66. That one was used to load logs cut and driven up Great Rattling for shipment by truck to Grand Falls.


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