Canadian Heritage

Historical Vignettes

Archibald Fraser: an Innovative Spirit

May 1873 saw close to 600 early settlers disembark in Kinkardine, located in Victoria County, to build a settlement for their families. Donald Fraser, a logger, his wife Ann and their two sons, Archibald and Donald, thus arrive in New Brunswick. The family owns a farm in upper Kincardine where Donald builds a sawpit and hires two men. Four years later, he buys a small sawmill in River de Chute and eventually undertakes an important series of acquisitions with his business partners.1

Donald Fraser's two sons, as well as other families such as the Matheson's and the Brebner's, are part of this group. In 1905 they set up the F & M Lumber Company of which Archibald Fraser becomes president. The company buys a good number of logging rights and a few sawmills across the provinces of New Brunswick and Quebec. Amongst these, we note the James Murchie & Son Company in Edmundston,2 bought in 1911 by Fraser Limited. It would later become the Fraser Companies Limited, in 1917. Archibald Fraser is still at the helm as president when a year later, a pulp mill is built in Edmundston, forever changing the face of Madawaska.