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White Pine College: Gillies Mill and the Village of Braeside

‘White Pine College’ was an attractive alternative to higher education for many young men who turned to Gillies Brothers Limited for employment. The work was honest, the pay was good and many were following in their father’s footsteps when it was time to “go over the hill.” At one time, over 450 men were employed at Gillies Mill. Today, no trace of it remains.

We invite you to travel back in time over fifteen decades, from 2019 to 1870. Through vivid and engaging story lines, you will learn how the mill developed into a major local industry until its eventual closure in 1992.  Fictional men, women and children will tell their story of the mill and everyday experiences of living in the Village. While the company name changed over time, it is generally referred to as Gillies’ Brothers throughout the exhibit.

Each Story Page is a creative vignette written from the perspective of a fictional character and set in a decade where specific historical events act as a backdrop to their narrative. Taken together, these stories create a collective community biography that presents both mill workers and villagers as they journey through fifteen decades. Click on the images for more historical information that supports each story.

Visit the Archives’ website for an interactive map of historic Braeside and a timeline of events that support and enhance the understanding of the exhibit material.

This exhibit is the result of countless hours of research and participation by numerous summer students, volunteers and community members over a five year period. Exhibit curator Laurie Dougherty and The Arnprior & McNab/Braeside Archives wish to acknowledge and thank all of the participants for their enormous contribution to this community exhibit.


Start reading the story

Curator: Laurie Dougherty
Project Manager: Emma Carey
Translator: Marie Maude Polychuck