Provincial plaque commemorates founding of Iroquois Falls

IROQUOIS FALLS, ON, Oct. 1 /CNW/ - Today, the Ontario Heritage Trust, the Iroquois Falls Community Development Team and the Town of Iroquois Falls unveil a provincial plaque commemorating the town's founding.

In the early 1900s, when the Ontario government built the Temiskaming and Northern Ontario Railway from North Bay to Cochrane it opened the region to settlement. Frank Harris Anson, a native of Michigan and Montreal businessman, originally planned to come north for the prospect of finding gold in the Abitibi basin. His scouts did not find gold but returned with reports of impressive forests and potential water power, inspiring Anson to develop a newsprint mill in the area. In 1912, he and partner Shirley Ogilvie were granted a pulpwood concession of over one million acres (more than 400,000 hectares) and they started the Abitibi Power & Paper Company, Limited.

"Transportation, industry and innovation are key themes woven throughout our history," said The Honourable Lincoln M. Alexander, Chairman of the Ontario Heritage Trust. "The story of Iroquois Falls not only reflects these elements, but also highlights the spirit and drive of northern Ontario's early settlers in developing lasting communities that provide a high quality of life for our residents."

Committed to building a convenient and comfortable company town for his employees, Anson applied ideas from the British and American Garden City movement combining esthetics with utility. The plans for Iroquois Falls included distinct residential and industrial areas and curvilinear residential streets intersecting on a grid. Every residence had a lot large enough for a lawn and garden, and the sewer and hydro-electric lines were located in alleys behind the homes. The company also built a hotel, town hall and sports facilities, and the town centre boasted a large park.

"This provincial plaque serves as an important reminder to the residents of Northern Ontario that our shared history was built on a legacy of discovery and entrepreneurship," said MPP David Ramsay.

Iroquois Falls was incorporated in 1915. The following year, a large part of the town was destroyed by fire, but the community rebuilt and Anson continued his beautification program during the 1920s. By that time, Abitibi had become the largest mill of its kind on the continent. The meteoric growth of Anson's mill and the community signified the arrival of the newsprint industry as one of northern Ontario's social and economic pillars. Today, Iroquois Falls continues to be a small but vibrant community that is home to the top-producing mill of AbitibiBowater, and paper manufacturing remains the town's primary industry.

"Our community is very pleased to have the Ontario Heritage Trust recognize the founding of Iroquois Falls," said Traci Workman, Community Development Coordinator. "This plaque will allow people to become familiar with how Frank Anson founded the Abitibi Power & Paper Company and planned the community."

The Ontario Heritage Trust is an agency of the Government of Ontario, dedicated to identifying, preserving, protecting and promoting Ontario's heritage.

    Quick Facts:

    -   The Ontario Heritage Trust's Provincial Plaque Program commemorates
        significant people, places and events in Ontario's history.

    -   Since 1953, over 1,200 provincial plaques have been unveiled.

    -   There are 140 provincial plaques in northern Ontario.

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SOURCE Ontario Heritage Trust

For further information: For further information: Catrina Colme, Marketing and Communications Coordinator, Ontario Heritage Trust, Telephone: (416) 325-5074, E-mail:

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