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Our History

1908-1950 | 1951-1987 | 1988-2000

By the end of the forties, the price for pulp had dropped dramatically and the Sorg Paper Company was forced to close Port Mellon in July of 1949. Two years later, the mill was purchased by newly-formed Canadian Forest Products and named Howe Sound Pulp Company Limited.

Around this same period the start of the Korean War caused an increase in the demand for unbleached kraft pulp. Port Mellon suddenly grew to almost a thousand residents, and by 1953 there were more clubs and organizations in Port Mellon than in any other town of its size in British Columbia. But just as the little town reached its peak, the long-awaited road to the town of Gibsons was completed, and the migration out of town began.

The Town of Port Mellon - Click to Enlarge

Despite the loss of the Town of Port Mellon, the mill itself generally thrived and expanded from the early 1950s to the late 1970s. The dawn of the eighties marked the beginning of a very challenging decade for Port Mellon. A combination of a soft pulp market, a country-wide recession, and an increase in environmental operation requirements resulted in a fairly bleak future for the mill.

But as the tradition of Port Mellon goes, the rough times were ridden out with the hope that the mill would prosper again in the future. By 1986 the pulp market had picked up and the mill was suddenly profitable. Plans developed in the 1970s to modernize were dusted off, and record profits in 1987 by Canfor attracted a lot of interest in the mill by foreign companies. One of those interested parties was a company out of Japan called Oji Paper.

This interest proved to be more than superficial, and in late 1987 it was announced that Oji Paper and Canfor had made a $635 million dollar deal to become co-owners of a new company called Howe Sound Pulp and Paper Ltd.

on to 1988 - 2000

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