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Mosher

History

Town site photo

Mosher during the 1950s

Source: Fred and Anja Turuba

The Newago Timber Company, owned by American interests, Consolidated Papers Incorporated, did logging throughout Northern Algoma prior to the Second World War. Usually the logs were shipped by rail to Michipicoten Harbour, and boomed to Wisconsin where most logs were destined to be turned into pulp. Newago had negotiated with the provincial government for special rights to harvest all types of lumber, including all pulpwood and sawing varieties. Newaygo in return promised to pay a special flat stumpage fee for all sawing varieties and a second rate for pulpwood.

Mildred and Martin Townships, each 92 miles square, were purchased for a steal from the Algoma Central Railway (ACR). The company was in the midst of a massive dieselization program which necessitated a considerable amount of extra capital.

The town site was established on the ACR in 1951 at a point 5 miles north of a siding named Price. The settlement was named after Henry S. Mosher, president of Newago's Canadian operations. The ACR built loading and servicing facilities as well as an agent's house, section man's house, a bunkhouse for section hands and a station. The town site contained a dozen permanent bungalows for employees and families. A two-bedroom home rented for $33 a month. Single men lived in a large bunkhouse. The company also had a cookhouse and offices. In addition, the village included a large building containing a school, recreation hall, general store and a post office. Following a fire in the recreation hall, a new school and recreation hall were built - this time in separate buildings.

During cutting season, which ran from approximately from May to August, 150 employees were on site. After scaling, work during the winter months consisted mainly of digging out and shipping all the stacked woodpiles, using a team of horses. The mid 1950's saw mechanization take over. Axes and bucksaws were finally traded in for chainsaws, trucks, and tractors. The men were also represented by the Lumber and Sawmill Workers Union, complete with a steward. Office supervisors were paid $400 a month.

The small town was situated 160 kilometres south of Hearst and 100 kilometres north of Hawk Junction. Due to its remote location, it needed to be as self sufficient as possible. Electricity was provided with generators and most cooking was done with gas. A doctor came from Hawk Junction once a month.

This company was well versed in work safety. Surprisingly, all emergency accommodation and provisions were taken in with a special ambulatory system. Operations ceased in the mid 1970's and moved nearer to Hearst. Everything in the town site was moved or demolished.