Class of 1991
Edouard Lacroix was a lumber industrialist who founded Maison Edouard Lacroix et Frères Limitée.
Twelve year old Edouard left his Quebec home to work in the U.S. lumber camps along the Maine border. Intrigued by what he saw, he learned all he could about lumber cutting rights, custom laws and building wooden roads.
Returning to St. George in 1905, Edouard worked for a lumber company until forming la Maison Edouard Lacroix in 1911. Shortly after its opening, his first saw mill in Cochrane, Ontario was destroyed by fire. Undaunted, Edouard was back in business a few months later, this time in partnership with his brothers. Edouard’s many contacts from his lumber camp days brought much of the early business to Maison Edouard Lacroix et Frères Limitée.
By 1918 Lacroix’s company owned three saw mills. His reputation for solving problems helped Edouard win choice contracts to haul pulpwood from mountainous U.S. border areas. His inventive solutions included development of a rough terrain card and canal like sluices for transporting wood over uneven land. He also introduced caterpillar type tractors to the industry.
With his forest investments prospering, Edouard expanded his holdings through partnerships with existing pulp and paper companies throughout eastern Canada. Never indifferent to others’ needs, he built a woolen mill in St. George to create jobs for the depressed region. In 1933 he founded his New York based Port Royal Shipping company. During this period of growth, Edouard actively pursued his political interests, serving as a member of Parliament in Ottawa.
Edouard Lacroix was one of Canada’s forestry pioneers whose entrepreneurial undertakings employed thousands.