Lac du Bonnet Sawmill 1901 – 1918

LAC DU BONNET SAWMILL - painted by  A. Hamber 1912The railway arrived in Lac du Bonnet in June 1901, bringing with it the entrepreneurial talents of John Duncan McArthur who developed a sawmill located on land that became part of the Lac du Bonnet townsite. The Canadian Pacific Railway connection with Winnipeg made the development of these industries possible and McArthur was able to connect the eastern Manitoba resources directly to his lumberyard in Winnipeg, located on Higgins Avenue near the CPR tracks. In 1902 McArthur opened a logging camp near old Pinawa and set up his mill on the Winnipeg River just north of the present townsite of Lac du Bonnet. He shipped the lumber, as well as cordwood to Winnipeg. The mill was closed in 1918, but he continued to search for a more suitable market for the small-sized woods available from eastern Manitoba’s forests. By 1924 his pursuits resulted in the development of the Manitoba Pulp and Paper Co. mill in Pine Falls, Manitoba.