Since the creation of the township of Rawdon in 1799 and the arrival of the first people to settle there, logging has been a key economic activity for the residents of Rawdon. While Joseph Dugas claimed to be the first occupant of the township around 1815, his brother Philémon would soon join him and build a sawmill there. This sawmill, located on the Rouge River, mainly served to produce the materials needed to build homes for the local population.

Forests in Rawdon
Lac Pontbriand 1948
Ouareau River having become Pontbriand Lake, 1948

Given that, with few exceptions, the soil in Rawdon was not very suitable for farming, the residents were forced to turn their efforts to the logging industry with several highly sought-after species of wood, including white pine, elm, oak and maple. In fact, Rawdon had everything needed to make logging a thriving industry, namely, in addition to the natural resource itself, the waterways to transport the logs and the energy to power the mills. With four rivers (Ouareau, Rouge, Saint-Esprit and Blanche) running through Rawdon’s territory, mills with greater production capacity would be built in the decades that followed.

As we learn from Guillaume Petit, the history of logging in Rawdon and the surrounding area is not very well documented. While they do not specifically concern the history of logging in Rawdon, two articles written by Guillaume Petit are excellent references on the topic. A first article entitled « L’exploitation industrielle du bois sur la rivière Ouareau », publié le 19 février 2023 sur le site Chroniques anachroniques se veut le fruit de recherches effectuées en 2022. Subséquemment, Guillaume proposait à la Société d’Histoire Forestière du Québec d’en faire une synthèse. Cette synthèse intitulée «Les premiers exploitants du bois de la forêt OUAREAU» a été publiée aux pages 45 à 52 de la revue Histoires forestières du Québec, Vol. 15, No. 1, Printemps-Été 2023.

The journal Histoires forestières du Québec is published by the Société d'histoire forestière du Québec.

Documents to view or download:

To view the article entitled “ L’exploitation industrielle du bois sur la rivière Ouareau ” on the Chroniques anachroniques website (in French only):

Click here

To download vol. 15, no. 1, of the journal Histoires forestières du Québec (in French only) :

Download here

Access to vol. 15, no. 1, of the journal Histoires forestières du Québec is available for a limited time only. Once the next issue of the journal is released, access to vol. 15, no. 1, will be restricted to members of the Société d’histoire forestière du Québec (SHFQ).

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The author, Guillaume Petit, has supported the Société d’histoire de Rawdon by sharing his knowledge of the history of the region and providing his astute advice about websites. Now a retiree residing in Joliette, Guillaume was born in Paris and has lived in Quebec since 1975. He regularly publishes on his Chroniques anachroniques website “anachronistic chronicles” that present the results of his historical research. He addresses various topics drawn from his immediate surroundings and discusses them from an original perspective. He never shies away from even the most delicate subjects, and his articles are always very well documented.