Presented bySociété historique de la Côte‑Nord
This tour guides you through the early history of Baie-Comeau, in the country of Colonel McCormick. On site, the interactive map allows you to take a self-guided tour of the premises with your mobile, including a suggested itinerary for those who wish to live an original experience and get off the beaten track.
Robert Rutherford McCormick is the son of an ambassador and the heir of the famous Chicago Tribune. After World War II, he obtained the rank of colonel and cherished the ambition to become governor of Illinois, or even President of the United States of America. However, the legacy passed on to him by his mother brought him to the press: he became the owner of the Chicago Tribune and the New York Daily News. It is therefore the need to find a source of paper supply for the two main newspapers of the family empire, which then had a phenomenal success, that will bring him to the North Shore of Quebec.
In 1923, he obtained the operating rights of the Outardes and Manicouagan rivers, provided that the transformation of the raw material (wood) be carried out on site. The location of the bay Comeau, ideal because it is located in deep water, was chosen for the implementation of a wharf open throughout the year, allowing unloading of materials and the workforce required to build the pulp and paper mill in 1936. By doing this, the employers and workers established the cornerstone of what was later to become the City of Baie-Comeau.
The vision of Colonel McCormick was carried out, well beyond his expectations. During the next 50 years we have witnessed the economic development of Baie-Comeau, including the establishment of an aluminum smelter (1956), a sawmill, the establishment of a maritime transportation service (Matane-Baie-Comeau ferry) and develpment of the Manic-Outardes Hydro-electric complex. This diversification of economic activity of the city was accompanied by important social and cultural developments that made Baie-Comeau a place that is now rich in history and has become the pride of its people, both locally and internationally.
You can use the Preload option of the BaladoDiscovery mobile application to access the interactive map and offline content (without Internet) rendered on site.
Société Historique de la Côte-Nord
With financial assistance from the City of Baie-Comeau / the Cultural Development Agreement with the Government of Quebec (Ministry of Culture and Communications).
Thanks also to Alcoa - Baie-Comeau Smelter Fund for Sustainable Communities