Inter-West Fuel and Peat Co. 1907 – 1908

INTER-WEST FUEL and PEAT Co. CairnIn 1907 a group of “local capitalists” built a peat processing plant 4.83 kilometers (3 miles) south west of Lac du Bonnet on the previously operated Canadian Pacific Railway Branch Line that connected Lac du Bonnet to the main line at Molson, Manitoba. At this location the Inter-West Peat and Fuel Company had been operating for only a few days, having loaded five railway cars of peat ready for shipment, when the factory part of the plant was destroyed by fire. It was scheduled to be reconstructed in the spring of 1908 and expected to be in operation by July of that year. INTER-WEST FUEL and PEAT Co. 1907 - 1908The estimated cost of the plant was $25,000 and would be capable of producing 100 tons of peat daily. The factory, 40’x50′, was constructed of concrete and corrugated iron. The machine for compressing the peat was reported to have an average pressure of 40 tons per square inch. (There is no evidence that the new plant ever came in to production.) Peat, dug from the bog, artificially dried and compressed into 3 and 1/2 inch cubes, had the same weight and density as Anthracite coal and gave intense heat when burned. It was used for household fuel and in the manufacture and refinement of iron and steel. The company had reserves on 1,036.03 hectares (2,560 acres) of peat land south of Lac du Bonnet. At that time the factory was the only one operating in Western Canada.