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Annie Mills (Gillies Bros. Secretary) 1920-1929

This was Annie’s busiest week since the new mill opened in 1921. Mr. Gillies had called her to his office several times that day to dictate letters regarding the new planing mill and the purchase of timber limits near Temagami.

Gillies Bros. lumber mill as seen from the water with an advertisement for the company below.

Advertisement from the Canada Lumberman & Wood Worker, volume 41, no. 21, November 1, 1921 with photograph of the new Gillies Mill circa 1921.


Everyone was preoccupied with the smallpox epidemic in the village. The local Board of Health had ordered inspections of the boarding houses and she needed to find someone to accompany the nurses carrying out the order.  Annie also wanted to get the office set up for a Council meeting which was being moved from the Orange Hall to their office. She glanced at her favourite photograph of her garden above her desk to settle her mind.

A young woman sits at her desk in an office lined with wooden panels.

Jennie McKinnon worked in Gillies Bros. office prior to her marriage to Harold Bradford in 1908.


Her garden was bursting with colour from the hollyhocks that her neighbour, Mrs. J. S. Gillies, had given her. She envied the staff Mrs. Gillies had for her large garden, but Annie was determined to do most of the work in her garden by herself.  Her father was extremely busy at the store now that the Norvic Ferry was running between Sand Point and Norway Bay. Having one of the village pumps beside their house certainly helped.

As she checked the time on her wristwatch, Annie turned to speak into the telephone that linked her to the planing mill office.

Men unload logs from a horse driven cart at the entrance to a planing mill while other men load sawn lumber into a rail car.

C.P.R. Rail car loaded with sawn lumber at Gillies Bros. Planing Mill, circa 1930.