The old board mill
The old board mill

The old board mill

The old board mill

Ruins in the heart of a one-industry town

Estrie (Quebec), Canada

It was October 3, 2014 when it has been heard for the last time the siren for the end of the work shift. The last 180 employees picked up their belongings and closed the door behind them, thus ending an industrial history of over 125 years.

Family and friends were gathered outside the factory at the end of the day for a last look at the board mill which provide work to the citizen of this little town. If some have been relocated to the pulp and paper mill on the other side of the river, that was once part of the same complex (now sold to a competitor), other employees have taken the path of the forced retirement, and unemployment offices.


1910 - View of the factory and the old covered bridge now replaced by a concrete bridge

The industrial history of the site did not start yesterday. This is also in 1881 that are built first saw mill and a paper mill on the banks of this Eastern Townships river. Established in the middle of the forest and a rural area, the company will see its first inhabitants to settle in homes around the plant, rented by the owner. Within a decade, they will be more than 600 people this new mono-industrial town named in honor of this rich Scottish industrialist. Half of them are working at the plant.

The site will be gradually expanded over the years as evidenced by the railway track (now convicted), a second plant built on the other side of the river and the many extensions.

Shortly after its closure, the site was sold to a american competitor. While the latter must take possession of the buildings in the coming months, the latest machinery (salable) are on sale and a guardian is responsible for monitoring the premises at all times via the many cameras scattered on the site. Some buyers from everywhere around the world are also coming here to shop in this vast complex where intermingle machines at the cutting edge of technology and their ancestors who are no longer wanted by scrap dealers.

Related content

The old abandoned sawmill

The advantage of a 4 hours ride to visit an abandoned sawmill is that we increase our chances of finding an intact place without the slightest trace of vandalism. Or at least, very little.

All along the road, the fear of finding a...

The abandoned Hermes Paper Factory/Recycling Center
Düsseldorf, (Germany)

Normally on Easter Sunday one spends time his or her family, however on this particular Easter a friend and I decided to wake up early and do some Urban Exploration.

What is great about living in Germany is that there are several abandoned...

The abandoned power plant
Montérégie, Quebec (Canada)

Its architecture reminds of the old ramparts of Quebec instead the image to which one is accustomed to power plants.

Yet it is part of this canadian architectural style of the late nineteenth and much of the twentieth century. One of the...

The Park lane café
Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec (Canada)

The place is big, very big. While the building is nearly 200,000 square feet, the site, meanwhile, is over than 430,000 square feet in an agricultural area of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu. For those interested, the site is for sale and the current...