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Historical photos from the Chapleau Public Library
and from various other donors

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lafren-1 (86K)

1949. The fist sawmill of A. & L. Lafrenière near Racine Lake. Photo and text provided by Mario Lafrenière.

In the month of October 1949, Atchez (father), Lucien and André Lafrenière (brothers) accompanied by Edouard Pilote, Arsène Gagné (Father of Roger Gagné of Chapleau) and of Paul Tremblay arrived in Racine Lake in order to establish a sawmill to salvage timber from a forest fire. Edouard Demers came in a few weeks later.

After building a small temporary sawmill to produce lumber to build the main mill and buildings, Lucien Lafrenière got the first job as sawyer.

As lumber was produced, the necessary buildings were built to face the fast approaching winter. Edouard Demers was put in charge of the priority building, the "cookery". The men spent their first winter in a half tent - half wood bunkhouse.