Terra Nova Sulphite Co. Mill in Glovertown
The Terra Nova Sulphite Co. Mill was built in 1921 by the Terra Nova Sulphite Company with the financial aid of Norwegian investors. Today the shelled concrete structure of this abandoned pulp mill can be seen towering over the banks of the Terra Nova River near the community of Glovertown. During the early 20th century pulp mills became very popular as the demand for pulp was high. The island had an abundance in black spruce trees which were considered ideal for pulp and paper making. This led the Terra Nova Sulphite Company to begin looking for investors for placing a pulp mill in Glovertown.
The location was chosen for two reasons; its proximity to salt water and the Terra Nova River, which would allow for power generation and the ability to transport wood down the river to the mill.
In early 1921, the Newfoundland Government gave the company the timber rights for the area around the Terra Nova River and the rights for a hydro plant to be built. First construction began on Angle Brook Island and was expected to be completed and opened sometime mid in 1922. During the construction period, piers were laid for the wharves in Angle Brook (later amalgamated into the community of Glovertown), and with a high expectation for success, schools, houses and a medical centre were set up nearby to service workers at the mill.
However later that Autumn construction stopped on the mill. This was due to the Norweigin investors falling into financial trouble because of the fall of the Norweigin Krone (local currency). The Newfoundland government refused to give them a loan to continue the project due to uncertainty in the project and its investors.
The following year, in 1923 the Anglo-Newfoundland Development Company (AND Co) who owned other mills in Newfoundland, such as the one in Grand Falls, bought the almost completed mill, timber rights and hydro rights for around two million dollars.They then sent 1300 cords of cut wood to the mill to test its operation. it was then the company decided the mill was two small, inadequate and that the area was not ideal for such a mill.
Many locals raised complaints at the decision because it was going to bring great amounts of work to people in the area. Letters and petitions were sent to both the AND Co and the government but it wasn't enough to put the mill into production. The machines and equipment inside were then dismantled and shipped to Bishops Falls and Grand Falls.
Today the ~35 meters tall, 400 meters long building towers in the forest behind Glovertown. When the mill closed it was not worth the money to tear down. The structure was built entirely of concrete and is in relatively good shape for being over 90 years old. Many signs in and around the building warn of falling debris and although it's in better shape than many abandoned places, the height of the building make falling debris much more of a hazard. The remains of a small dam are located on the Terra Nova River to the west of the mill.
Sources & Further Exploring
Higgins, J. (2007). Land-Based Industries of the Early 1900s. Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage Web Site. Found at https://www.heritage.nf.ca/articles/economy/landbased-industries.php.
Major, K. ( 1983). Terra Nova National Park: Human history study. National Historic Parks and Sites Branch, Parks Canada, Environment Canada. Retrieved from Memorial University of newfoundland and Labrador’s Library.
Mercer, N. (2020, June 7). Newfoundland’s abandoned structures could be tourism magnets for many towns. Saltwire Network, The Chronicle Herald. Found at https://www.saltwire.com/nova-scotia/business/newfoundlands-abandoned-structures-could-be-tourism-magnets-for-many-towns-459204/.
Smallwood, J. R., & Pitt, R. D. W. (1981). Encyclopedia of Newfoundland and Labrador. St. John's, N.L.: Newfoundland Book Publishers. (Article: “Glovertown”. Available online through the Centre for Newfoundland Studies collections database)
Quebec Chronicle Newspaper Article- November 22, 1963