Duncan brothers sawmill circa 1905
Source: Luc Lamond, Hal Myers collection
Three other sawmills were established around the lake. The Duncan brothers' mill, in operation from 1905 to 1927, employed 25 people at the site of the present municipal parking lot. Adonias Stanislas Millette's steam-powered sawmill, located south on the shore of Laurel Lake, was in production for nearly twenty years from the 1930s. And finally, Jean-Louis Laurin's sawmill, erected between de la Montagne Road and Gagné Street, was in operation from 1945 to 1955.
Gilbert Cook, whose family owned a cottage on their island (Cook), remembers this anecdote about transporting logs:
'... timber rafting was done all the way across the lake to the Duncan Mill. Wallace Beaven had the contract to pull the raft, formed by the logs, with a motor boat of about 3-4 horsepower. The logs were cut in winter near the foot of the lake. They were thrown into the water when the mill started in the spring. After the timber raft was formed, Beaven would begin the long, slow and tedious job of hauling the logs to the mill.
Lake residents are well aware of how quickly the winds can change direction and intensity. Towing a timber raft against a strong wind was nearly impossible. One day, as a strong wind blew from the south, the timber raft got out of control and stuck firmly on the reef in front of Cook Island. From there, it spread all the way to Myers Island to the east, completely blocking the channel between the two. It wasn't until two or three days later that the wind shifted and Beaven was able to free it and continue its journey.'
Cahiers d'histoire des Pays-d'en-Haut, book no.37, p.40, 1988.