On the Eve of Production-Logging for the A.N.D Company in 1908-09.

When the Anglo-Newfoundland Development Company came into being in 1905 its timber properties around Red Indian Lake and the logging headquarters of Millertown were an essential division in the paper making process, the forests were the source of the raw material, without which paper could not be made.

Lets take a step back in time and take a visit to the logging operations of the Anglo-Newfoundland Development Company in 1908-09 on the eve of pulp and paper production. 

AND original Timber Limits
Area shaded in diagonal lines outlines the original timber limits of the Anglo-Newfoundland Development Company. By 1923 they would control the entire area outlined plus additional limits in the Terra Nova and Gambo areas. (Hiller, James The Origins of the Pulp and Paper Industry in Newfoundland, From John Munro, Public timber allocation Policy in Newfoundland).
Leaving Millertown Junction RIL.jpg
Millertown Junction, Circa 1900.

Millertown, the logging headquarters of the Harmsworth operation,  is reached via the Millertown railway which branches off from the mainline at Millertown Junction. It was built in 1900 to service the lumber mills of Lewis Miller, namesake of both Millertown and Lewisporte. As you may be aware, although he invested a considerable amount of capital, Miller only operated about three seasons, before selling out the Newfoundland Timber Estates, who intern sold out to the Harmsworths.  The most striking feature one sees on reaching Millertown are the large, but now idle mills built by Miller. towering above the two substantial buildings is a one hundred foot silo shaped refuse destroyer, designed to safely incinerate sawdust and wood waste.

Millertown Mill 1900.jpg
Millertown Mill Circa 1901. The large silo shaped tower was not a smokestack but a refuse destroyer, designed to burn sawdust and wood waste from the mill.

The mills at Millertown have not operated since the fall of 1905, when the former company moved out and much of the machinery there was moved to Grand Falls, to facilitate construction there. The logging of sawlogs continued under the present Anglo-Newfoundland Development Company and in these recent seasons some of the largest log drives ever seen in the country have gone down the Exploits River from here.

Red Indian Lake boats
Boats on Red Indian Lake, Circa 1909. In this photo you can see the Lady Mary at left centre, next to her is probably the Henry M, the supply scow at left near some smaller boats and what looks to be a motor launch or speed boat. The alligator winch boat Annie, appears to be absent from this picture.

To reach the camps which dot Red Indian Lake, the A.N.D Company operates a number of lake steamers, largest of which is the Lady Mary, which made it’s first trip on the lake in May of 1909. This fine steamer of an estimated 140 tons was built at Millertown over the Winter of 1908-09 under the supervision of Mr. Adam Chaulk. This vessel and the smaller Henry M are employed around the clock transporting men, horses and supplies to the 33 camps situated around the lake. In season she is employed in the towing of booms to the outlet of the Exploits.

Lady Mary Millertown.jpg
The steamship Lady Mary built at Millertown in 1909 and named for Lady Northcliffe, who actually visited Millertown in October of that same year.

At this time the camps are located around the lake and the lumbermen cut in an area within one mile of each camp. Most of the wood is chopped down with axes as saws seem to be in limited supply. The chop begins around the 20th of September and will continue until around the 15th of April or at whichever time the spring thaw makes operations too difficult to undertake. In winter the camps are full, with many fishermen coming in to supplement their earnings. High turnover has been noted as some 3000 men were employed in 800 positions this past season. Accustomed to cutting his own firewood each year, the Newfoundlanders need little guidance in becoming good cutters. Logging operations are under the supervision of Mr. Ben Tulk, who has worked at logging around Red Indian Lake since coming to Millertown to work for Lewis Miller some years ago.

slide 064
Loggers pose with horses. As you might tell from the lack of saddles these large workhorses were rarely ridden and the men have mounted the horses for the camera. In the very early days wood was both cut and hauled in the late fall and winter, with the cutters and the teamsters working as teams. Within a short period of time the cut and the haul would be done at different times (Abitibi Photo-Via Andy Barker)

Trees are felled by a crew of cutters, limbed and cut to manageable lengths then hauled to the lake by horse and sled. At the lake the wood is piled in brows lining the shoreline.  In spring these brows of wood are rolled into the lake where they are contained in booms. These booms are then towed to the outlet of the Exploits River. To control the wood at this point in 1908-09 a dam, some 500 or more feet wide, with twenty gates was constructed.

loggers grand falls 1908
Some of the first AND Co loggers cutting pulpwood around Red Indian Lake 1908. The men cut logs with axes and skidded full logs to the landings by horse by horse. It was found to be more effective to move the wood by sled and logging was more easily done with the snow on the ground. Note the absence of any saws in this photo.


log drive rollign logs mha
Starting the drive, logs are rolled from the brows into the water. (Maritime History Achieve)

From the lake it is about 56 miles to the booms at the Grand Falls Mill. The drive normally begins in May when the spring freshets are swollen with spring rains and snow-melt. The drive is carried out under the supervision of Mr. William Dorrity, a native of Maine with considerable experience in dam building and river driving operations in that State. The driving of the long timber is a wet and dangerous job, with crews being subjected to many rigors. There are some areas where massive jams can occur and require considerable skill or blasting to remove. Along the river, the drivers travel in “bateaus” which although in at first glance appears to be an overgrown dory, but  is in fact a logging boat common in Mr. Dorrity’s home in Maine.

Bateau on the Exploits River log drive. By the time most of thee boats reached Rushy Pond they were pretty battered from logs and rocks encountered on the river. (Photo in the collection of the Grand Falls-Windsor Heritage Society. Original copyright was held by the Anglo-Newfoundland Development Company. Original Photography was likely JCM Hayward or E.I Bishop.)

Some areas of difficulty on the drive include; Red Indian Falls, the Badger Chute and the sandbars near the Rushy Pond Water Chute. Accustomed to working around water and handling boats the Newfoundlanders are taking to this aspect of the work with great interest, and in fact many have worked on similar drives in the lumber industry.

Jackladder 1912 Hayward
After a long journey the logs arrive at the mill. Here they are sorted out. Most of logs are cut up into much smaller lengths here at the cutting up mill. Larger examples are sawed into lumber at a mill on the property. (JCM Hayward Photo)

The drivers camp in rough tents as they move along the river, with the last campsite being near the site of the Reid Newfoundland Railway waterspout near Rushy Pond. From there it is not a far distance to the holding booms at the mills.

At Grand Falls the drive finishes for the year and the wood is stockpiled to make both pulp and paper.

-Bryan Marsh




McGrath, P.T Newfoundland’s New Industry: A  Souvenir and Record Issued to Commemorate the Opening of the Pulp and Paper Mills at Grand Falls 1909

Note that this is written as if being written in 1909. Visitors to Grand Falls at that time were normally also taken on a trip to Millertown to visit the logging headquarters. The second logging division, Badger, would come to be in 1910 after timber limits were acquired from the Newfoundland Pine and Pulp Company and the A.E Reed (Newfoundland) Company.


  1. Thanks,  my mother always said that her father, James Bernard Healey, was the first superintendent of the railyard at the mill.   That is why they had a company home on Mill Road near the railyard because he was always on call.   When he died in 1929, the family had two weeks to find a new home so they went back to the family home in Holyrood for three years.She had a picture of him in his Sunday clothes which she believed was taken at the time of the mill opening.   Do you know when the mill started having trains that went right to the mill? Harold Stapleton,  Mount Pearl

    From: Anglo Newfoundland Development Company To: hstapleton@nl.rogers.com Sent: Friday, November 9, 2018 2:06 PM Subject: [New post] On the Eve of Production-Logging for the A.N.D Company in 1908-09. #yiv2967402264 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv2967402264 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv2967402264 a.yiv2967402264primaryactionlink:link, #yiv2967402264 a.yiv2967402264primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv2967402264 a.yiv2967402264primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv2967402264 a.yiv2967402264primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E !important;color:#fff !important;}#yiv2967402264 WordPress.com | Bryan Marsh posted: “When the Anglo-Newfoundland Development Company came into being in 1905 its timber properties around Red Indian Lake and the logging headquarters of Millertown were an essential division in the paper making process, the forests were the source of the raw ” | |


    • They would have had trains going right to the mill site even before the mill was built. This was on a spur line from the station. I used to know when the spur was built, it was 1906 or 07. Everything came in by rail so the yard would have been busy before the mill opened.


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