By: Bancroft This Week
McRae Lumber was honoured with the Forestry Legacy Award from the Bancroft Area Forest Industry Association.
One of the goals of BAFIA is to promote the long term sustainability and vitality of the forest industry in the Bancroft area.
The Bancroft area as well as the Ottawa Valley has been very dependent on the forest industry and on the families that have maintained the forests since the 1800s.
The McRae family is one of the forest families that has provided five generations of employment and sustainable forestry practices that have given us a legacy to support our forest industry into the future.
Last week, Larry McTaggart, BAFIA president, presented one of the BAFIA Legacy Awards to the McRae family in Whitney.
“McRae Lumber operates as part of an industry whose history in the Ottawa Valley dates back to the early 1800s, when the area was being settled.”
“The first McRaes arrived in what is now eastern Ontario in the 1820s, survived pioneer farming and moved into lumbering by the 1850s. Family ancestors worked for the legendary John Egan and the McLachlin Brothers, who were large-scale square-timber operators.”
John Stanley Lothian McRae (J.S.L.) was the son of John D. McRae who owned and operated a General Store and Lumber Mill in Eganville. A fire in Eganville in 1911 directed J.S.L. to Whitney where he began lumbering.
J.S.L. purchased the Mickle, Dyment mill in Whitney in the early 1900s and the McRae Lumber Company was born.
J.S.L. McRae and his son, Donald McRae, ran the company until grandsons, Bob McRae and John McRae, took over.
Today a fifth generation of McRaes, Jamie McRae and Cameron McRae, look to continue the legacy of employment and sustainable forestry.
McRae Lumber History – from information from Algonquin Harvest by Donald L. Lloyd (2006). Submitted by Larry McTaggart