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Forest History in Northern BC

Overview of Northern BC Archives collections on forestry and the forest industry.

Columbia Cellulose Company, Limited fonds

2012.05 - Columbia Cellulose Company, Limited fonds


Fonds consists of documents providing information on the Columbia Cellulose Company, Limited covering the period of 1959-1970. These documents detail the company’s history, historical and geographical context, and plans for the future. Files often include photographs, maps, and technical drawings of the mills.

Restrictions on access: No restrictions.

Physical Description: 

  • 13 cm of textual records
  • 28 photographs : b&w ; 25 x 20 cm
  • 12 technical drawings ; 25.3 x 20.6 cm
  • 4 maps ; 106.7 x 71 cm and smaller.


The Columbia Cellulose Company, Limited was established under the name Port Edward Development Company, Limited in 1946 by the Celanese Corporation of America to produce high alpha wood pulp. The name was changed to the Port Edward Cellulose Company, Limited in 1947 and was finally changed to the present name in 1948. The first mill was constructed at Prince Rupert after the company was granted Tree Farm Licence (TFL) No. 1 in 1948. Celgar Development Company (more commonly known as Celgar Limited), a subsidiary of Columbia Cellulose, purchased three sawmill operations in the Arrow Lakes region at Nakusp and Castlegar in the early 1950s. The sawmills at Castlegar were transformed into an updated sawmill, a kraft mill, and a pulp mill. Columbia Cellulose was granted TFL No. 23 in July, 1955 and Nakusp was the headquarters for the woods operations in the interior with the Arrow Lakes system and tributary rivers providing waterways for booming and towing to the mills at Castlegar. The Columbia Cellulose Company added Prince Rupert Construction Limited (incorporated 1954) as a subsidiary in 1958 along with Skeena Logging Equipment Limited that same year. More mills in the interior were opened and in 1964 Columbia Cellulose began working with Svenka Cellulosa Aktiebolaget, a large Swedish manufacturer of forest products in the province, to build Skeena Kraft Limited. Skeena Kraft Limited was granted TFL No. 40 and Skeena Kraft headquartered its operations in Terrace. In 1965, Columbia Cellulose bought Calum Lumber Limited in Prince Rupert and acquired Columbia Pulp Sales Limited within the next two years. The declining Columbia Cellulose Company was taken over by the government of British Columbia in 1973 and was the basis for a new company: Canadian Cellulose Company, Limited. The name was changed again in 1981 to BC Timber Ltd.


  • 2012. - Log raft guided through log boom by a boom boat and workman
  • 2012. - Perspective View: Skeena Kraft and Prince Rupert Pulp Division of Columbia Cellulose

Cornel Neronovitch Logging and Sawmills Collection (1934 - ca. 1950)

Workers cutting timber with portable sawmill​Cornel Neronovitch Logging and Sawmills Collection - 2014.2

Collection consists of 27 photographs and a film relating to logging operations in the Tabor Lake and Dewey, BC area in the 1950s.

Restrictions on access: No restrictions.

Browse Photographs - 2014.2.1

Image: 2014.2.1.16 - Workers cutting timber with portable sawmill

2014.2.2 - Cornel Neronovitch Logging and Sawmills film

This film was created by Cornel Neronovitch who owned three sawmills in the Prince George area in the 1950s: the Prince George Sawmill at Peden Hill, a sawmill at the west end of Tabor Lake, and the Cornel Mill at Dewey.

Film footage shows early logging and sawmilling practices in Northern BC, as well as interior shots of what are presumed to be bunkhouses. Also shows a short clip of family film footage.

Fyfe Lake Sawmill (1941-1968)

Fyfe Lake Sawmill Series - 2002.1.7 (Part of the Prince George Railway & Forestry Museum Collection)

Fyfe Lake Sawmill, also referred to as Fyfe Lake Fir, operated at Fyfe Lake, 32 km Southwest of Prince George near West Lake Provincial Park, during the 1950s. The lumber company was owned and operated by the Bachand Family, primarily Henri Bachand, and produced lumber for domestic sale. The sawmill closed sometime in the early 1960s and many families, who had developed a small community at Fyfe Lake, moved into Prince George and the surrounding area.

Contents: The Fyfe Lake Sawmill series consists of administrative, financial, and operational records created by Fyfe Lake Sawmills. The series includes labour, logging, sale, and order records. Also comprises correspondence between Fyfe Lake Fir and a number of individuals, organizations and companies. Records created by the Northern Interior Lumberman’s Association, equipment manuals, and instructional publications that were collected and used by Fyfe Lake are also included.

Physical description: 1.64 m of textual records and 1 map

Restrictions on access: Some restrictions apply. Contact archives for details.

S. B. Trick Lumber Co.

S. B. Trick Lumber Co. fonds - 2017.7

Contents: Fonds consists of ledgers recording accounts and two journals of maintenance notes of the S. B. Trick Lumber Co. and one photograph of the Ambrose Trick Sawmill. The two ledgers consist of logging accounts including lumber shipments and sales as well as payroll and expenditures. One ledger includes shipping and sales as well as expenditures, including salaries, from Oct. 1944 to June 1951. The other ledger, with "M + T Journal" on the cover, records logging accounts and payroll from Sept. 1942 to Nov. 1950. The two journals include handwritten maintenance notes and loose papers of diagrams of equipment.

Physical Description: 

  • 14 cm of textual records (oversize)
  • 1 photograph : b&w ; 25.3 x 20.2 cm

Restrictions on access: None

Rustad Bros. & Co. Ltd.

Rustad Bros. & Co. Ltd. Series - 2014.6.2

Rustad Bros. and Co. Ltd. was a large sawmill and planermill that was started operation in 1947. Jim Rustad was the general manager and president of the sawmill. Jim sold the business to Northwood in 1991 (later bought by Canfor) and operated until 2009.

Contents: Series consists of records related to the Rustad Bros. & Co. Ltd. company and mills. Series also includes materials related to the forest industry in British Columbia and Canada.

Physical Description: 8 cm of textual records

Restrictions on access: None