The Quensel and District Museum and Archives. Melanie Law photo

Quesnel’s Friends of the Museum wants to hear sawmill stories

The group is hosting an event to record stories from those who worked in mills in the 60s and 70s

Honey Affleck

Observer Contributor

The new year has come, and far faster than we thought possible!

The Friends of the Museum are hoping that the many ideas and suggestions that were brought up in 2018 will soon to come to fruition, and we have every intention of ensuring it really happens!

While attending a 90th birthday party for a dear friend, I realized that the stories of the pulp mill have not been told. And that night, believe me, the stories were flying fast!

Former employees of Cariboo Pulp and Paper were attending this event, and when listening to their anecdotes, I knew the museum had to have these stories recorded. Yes, most of these stories took place in the early 70s, but think back: that is almost 50 years ago now. What we, as children, once considered old.

The Quesnel and District Museum and Archives wants your story! If you ever worked at a sawmill or in a logging camp, were a saw sharpener, drove a logging truck — anything to do with sawmills and their history in and around Quesnel — we want your story!

RELATED: Heritage BC hosts roundtable meeting in Quesnel

In keeping with Heritage Week, ‘The Ties That Bind,’ Quesnel Museum is holding an afternoon event for everyone and anyone who ever worked in the lumber industry. Quesnel was built around the logging industry, and we want to record its history.

Tolko, Canfor, Ernst, Weld Wood … Many a young man came to British Columbia in the 60s and 70s and signed on at the mill, and many of them retired there. Mill jobs were considered to be some of the better-paying jobs and families relied on these mills for their living. If you, or someone you know, have a story to tell and want the history to be recorded, please join us for this event.

In 1948, there were 33 registered sawmills within a 30-mile radius of Quesnel. By 1952, there were 180, plus five planer mills. Do you have memories of the development of Quesnel’s forestry industry in the post-war period? Drop in to help us map the locations of various mills, and share memories or photographs. We will have some of our photographs and artifacts available and the coffee on! If you can’t make this time, please contact us. We will probably host some additional sessions.

This event is a Heritage Week Celebration.

Tell your friends, your former co-workers, and invite them to come for an afternoon of reminiscing filled with memories!

No registration necessary. Come on down and bring any photos or memorabilia you may still have. The event will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 20 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Hope to see you as you spend time at the Museum.

Honey Affleck is an avid volunteer and member of Friends of the Quesnel and District Museum and Archives.

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