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As early as 1840 squared timber was floated down Brennan’s Creek (formerly Brudenell River and Brennan River) named for John Brennan the first lumberman in the area. Squared timber and masts were in demand at that time to feed the ravenous appetite of Britain’s Royal Navy. Logs were squared so they would fit economically into the ship’s hold. Squaring the logs was considered wasteful as only about one third of the original tree was used. In the beginning lumber resources were thought to be inexhaustible so this practice was not a big concern.
Early logging roads were only accessible during the winter months and logs were floated out during spring run-off when water levels were highest.
J.R. Booth had lumber camps throughout Algonquin Park. They floated logs down the Carcajou Creek (north of Basin Depot) which empties into Grand Lake and then the Petawawa River. In 1913 the foreman was Jim Culhane from Killaloe.
When the parliament buildings were destroyed by fire, they used timber from this area in the re-construction. J. R. Booth successfully secured the tender to supply the lumber for restoration.
Commercial logging is still one of the main industries in the area. The Ben Hokum & Son saw mill was started in 1956 by Ben Hokum Sr. After his father’s death in 1965, Ben Jr. took over the business.
A new computerized mill was constructed in 1993. The saw mill, located on Black Point Road (between Deacon and Killaloe) employs many people from Killaloe and area.