THE OTTAWA RIVER’S INDUSTRIAL PAST
Symmes Inn Museum
1, rue Front, Gatineau, (Québec), J9H 5E6
ohn Egan, a multi-talented lumber baron. In the 19th century, the timber industry flourished in the Outaouais, leading to strong population growth. For decades, white pine was imported to Europe in the form of square timber used for shipbuilding. While larger mills were concentrated in areas with significant water power, in Aylmer, where the waters are calm, the sawmill industry was driven by steam. John Egan, an important businessman known as the “Napoleon of the Outaouais,” founded, with his associates, the Aylmer Union Steam Mill Company, employing more than 3,500 men in roughly one hundred logging camps, saw mills and grist mills. In 1847, John Egan was appointed the first mayor of Aylmer.