During the late 1890s there were a number of sawmills operating in the Dryden area. They were
supplying the builders of the Canadian Pacific Railway with railway ties and timber. There was
also a need for lumber to power the many steam boilers used in the mining operations in the area.
Charles and Grant Gordon built a sawmill on the west side of the
Wabigoon river, closest to the present location of the paper mill.
In 1909 the Gordon bothers initiated the construction of a paper mill at that location. Unfortunately, the building burned down around 1910 and the
Gordon Brothers did not have the means of completing the project. In 1911 the Gordon Brothers
transferred the rights of the timber lease to the Dryden Timber and Power
undertook the construction of the new mill. In 1911 the paper mill began operations and was
the first kraft pulp mill in Northwestern Ontario. (Kraft pulp is a higher quality pulp made from softwood, which is very abundant in this area).
The present location of the mill was an ideal location for a pulp and
mill for three reasons. First of all, the Wabigoon river rapids could provide a means of abundant electricity supplied by
the creation of a hydro electric dam. Secondly, the close proximity
Wabigoon permitted rafting the wood to the mill site. Finally and most
obviously, was the abundant supply of wood in this area.
Picture was provided by Charlie Rankin