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George Arthur Usborne (Archaeologist) 2010-2019

A metal plaque at the side of the road stands in tall grass near decaying logs.

An historical plaque marks the site of Gillies Bros.’ second lumber mill which operated from 1921 – 1992.


George felt a flicker of excitement when he read the historical plaque marking the entrance to Gillies Bros. mill. George was a descendant of Reverend Henry Usborne, the original lumberman to establish a mill at Braeside in 1870. He yearned to travel back in time to witness the daily lives of those who called this place home.

When he reached Red Pine Bay, George stopped for a moment to feel the breeze and enjoy the view of Lac des Chats. He tried to imagine what this place would have looked like 150 years ago. He surmised that the history of the village was intertwined with the story of the mill.

Two large piles of sand bags located in a parking lot near the river are ready for use.

Sandbags at Red Pine Bay in May 2019 were used by nearby residents affected by flooding.


A partially submerged crib caught George’s attention as he made his way towards the village. He presumed that it was used to fasten booms of red pine for which the bay was named. Soon, it too would vanish. He needed to document his discoveries before it was too late.

Trees and overgrown brush partially obscure stone foundations.

Ruins of the mill built by Reverend Henry Usborne which Gillies Bros. purchased in 1873.


George followed a road down to a long stretch of secluded beach. Along the steep bank, in among the wildflowers, he found the ruins of the original saw mill. He realized that these massive stone foundations survived the fire at Gillies Bros. mill in 1919.  As his hand touched the stone he felt himself travel back in time…