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Canadian properties. Baie Comeau construction records

Identifier: XIX-29

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Scope and Contents

Construction of a second paper mill in Canada, on the north shore of the lower St. Lawrence River, was begun in the spring of 1936 despite the fact that the world was in the midst of a deep depression. Having signed a lease to the property in 1923 which required the Tribune Company to build a mill for the manufacture of woodpulp or newsprint within seven years (at later intervals postponed), and realizing that the lease could not be extended indefinitely unless this provision were fulfilled, the Tribune Company in 1935 made the decision to build an integrated pulp and paper mill at Baie Comeau the next spring. Tribune circulation was growing and that of the New York Daily News was rising to unexpected heights, and this also influenced the decision to go ahead with construction.

Robert R. McCormick was as vitally concerned with the Baie Comeau project as he had been 23 years earlier with the mill at Thorold, Ontario. This collection reflects his deep interest and involvement at each step of the planning and construction. Though busy in Chicago with affairs of the Tribune, he made many trips to Baie Comeau and carried on a voluminous correspondence with those responsible for the on-the-spot activities. They in turn sent frequent letters, progress reports, cost and shipping reports, blueprints, specifications, charts and maps, and many photographs, all of which reflect in minute detail the beginnings of the North Shore Paper Company and the permanent planned community which grew up around it.

Warren Curtis, Jr., son of a family prominent in the affairs of the International Paper Company and designer of the Thorold mill, had been president of the Ontario Paper Company for many years before his death in 1930. In 1933 Arthur A. Schmon assumed the presidency, and the largest part of the corresondence in this collection is between Schmon and McCormick.


  • 1936 - 1938


Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on use of the materials in the department for research; all patrons must comply with federal copyright regulations.


5 Boxes

Language of Materials



This collection contains correspondence, progress reports, cost and shipping reports, blueprints, specifications, charts and maps, and many photographs concerning the North Shore Paper Company (the Tribune Company's second Canadian pulp and paper mill at Baie Comeau, Quebec) and the permanent planned community which grew up around it.


Arrangement completed prior to receiving the collection from the McCormick Foundation.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Received from the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, Chicago Tribune Company, and Nexstar Media Group on January 10, 2020, accession #SPEC-2020-1.

Related Materials

For biographical material on Arthur A. Schmon, and for a copy of an address on the Ontario Paper Company which he made in 1962 to the Newcomen Society of North America, see file folder XIX-7. For further information on the Canadian properties of the Tribune Company, see Carl Wiegman's book Trees to news (Toronto, McClelland and Stewart, 1953), and file folders XIX-7 and XIX-28 in the vertical file. For more recent information on the Canadian subsidiaries and lists of their officers and directors, see the latest volume of Officers and directors: Tribune Company and subsidiary companies in file folder X-5. For material on the construction of the mill at Thorold, see XIX-5.

Guide to the Canadian properties. Baie Comeau construction records
Lee Major. Input from typed finding aid by Gary L. Strawn, 2021-01-14
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Library Details

Part of the Charles Deering McCormick Library of Special Collections Repository

Deering Library, Level 3
1970 Campus Drive
Evanston IL 60208-2300 US