E. B. Eddy manufacturing building
The First Industrial Site in the Ottawa Valley
This had been a portage site for over a thousand years, when Philemon Wright built the first industrial building on the shores of the Chaudière Falls, near what would come to be known as the "petite chaudière" ("little cauldron"). The first building, erected in 1803, was a trip hammer workshop. It burned down in 1808 and Wright rebuilt it, as it had several applications. The mechanical system, powered by water, was used by smiths; but it could also run other machines - for example, stone crushers for making cement or mortar. The founder of the Washburn axe factory started out here in 1845, renting the premises before moving into the old brewery on Montcalm Street ten years later.
In 1829, next to the building, Ruggles Wright, son of Philemon, built the first crib slide for transporting large wooden logs down the Ottawa River. This innovation enabled the wood cribs to be transported without the risk of loss or damage in the eddies of the falls. In October 1849, the federal government purchased Wright's slide. This "government slide" was used until the early 1970s to transport wood, mainly softwood logs for papermaking after the turn of the century. This channel, now underground, is used to transport chemicals into the receiving building (# 6) and the paper manufacturing building (# 14).
In the trip hammer building, Ezra Butler Eddy established his famous match factory in 1854. He rented part of the building that he shared with Sexton Washburn, the axe manufacturer, and cement maker Charles B. Wright, Ruggles' son.
On the death of Ruggles Wright in 1863, his granddaughter, Florence Wright, inherited part of this land (Lot 34) where the match factory stood, and her daughter Rosina inherited the land where the cooperage was located. In 1866 and 1871, Eddy bought these lots and their buildings, one of which he already occupied. Eddy diversified his production and enlarged the buildings. However, in 1882, a major fire destroyed most of the buildings of Eddy's sawmill, including those on this site. Eddy rebuilt. On this site, in 1883, he built a structure with stone lateral walls, wood end walls and a curved roof. It housed a planing mill and a box factory. Eddy founded his paper mill in 1889, converting the planing mill to accommodate a Number 3 Paper Machine.
Eddy was severely tested by the Great Fire of April 1900. He was already 73 years old and had just repaid the loans on the paper mill. But after some hesitation, and pressure from the local governments, he decided to rebuild. The stone lateral walls had more or less survived the fire, but the wooden part of the structure was gone and the contents were destroyed. Eddy rebuilt the end walls, in stone, and a gently sloping hip roof. He installed several tubs for soaking the pulp. After 1924, the roof was raised, supported by a metal structure, and a skylight was installed to allow heat to escape. This upper floor and its skylight were demolished in 2004.
At the side of the building, a lean-to covered a rack for 23 bicycles, attesting to the use of this means of transportation by the employees in 1923. Today, cyclists pass by on their way to the bicycle path along the river.
These various buildings are now the property of Domtar.