Turning Back the Pages: Some businesses in Golden have deep roots in the community

By Colleen Palumbo

I was recently asked by a local company preparing to celebrate 50 years in business to look up its origins in Golden.

I don’t want spoil their plans for the celebration events, so I won’t share who it is here but I did find another company that started in 1969 that would be familiar to some of the longerv residents to the community. Here is the announcement from the Golden Star from June 18, 1969 regarding the opening of the company.

“An announcement by Willamette Valley Manufacturing Company on Monday, June 16, disclosed that their Canadian corporation, Canadian Wllllamette, Ltd., would be located near Golden, B.C.

Canadian Willlamette will be engaged in the manufacture of products from western red cedar.

Site preparation and development, railroad entry and plant construction are scheduled to begin within two weeks. Production start-up is anticipated for the early fall of this year.

Approximately [35] in-plant employees per shift will be required, together with the additional crews required to develop the wood supply requirements.

Canadian Willamette Ltd., is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Williamette Valley Manufacturing Company of Eugene, Oregon. The president is Robert G. Harrison, who has deep roots in Canada, and particularly in the Golden area. Mr. Harrison’s father was born in Windsor, Ontario and his grandfather in Brookline, Ontario. The grandfather, Henry Wade Harrison, who died and was buried on Golden in 1907, was superintendent of the original [Columbia River Lumber Company] lumber operations at Golden. Mr. Harrison’s father, Aubrey G. Harrison, was a boyhood chum of Mr. Tom King, and might be remembered by other longtime residents.

Blair Armitage, currently vice-president and manager of the Eugene cedar manufacturing operation, will move to Golden immediately with his wife, Jan, and their two daughters, Cherie (15) and Renee (9). Mr. Armitage will be executive vice-president and general manager of the Canadian Williamette operation here.

Wm. R. Batten, a British Columbia registered forester and resident of Golden, will be in charge of all phases of wood procurement as manager of wood supply operations.

The decision to establish this industry was reached after more than a year of investigation covering carious regions of British Columbia. Company officials have expressed their enthusiasm for the attractive living conditions and facilities offered by Golden and the surrounding areas. As well as the friendliness, cooperation, and encouragement offered by the people. This new industry will undoubtedly soon be contributing significantly to the economy of this area.”

The Golden Museum will be working on a number of fundraisers this year including a yard sale. If you have items in good working order that you could donate to our yard sale we would be grateful to receive them. If you can drop your donations off at the Golden Museum please do so but pickup can be arranged. The sale will take place the end of June.

The museum will also be hosting the Summer Kids Camp, with weeklong camps taking place the weeks of July 8 to 12, July 15 to 19, July 29 to August 2, and August 12 to 16. Camps are limited to eight children per week with one mature councilor leading the kids through our program on dinosaurs and fossils. We are working on an updated program for those children who attended last year. The kids learn all about dinosaurs, through games and instruction and take part in making a movie about dinosaurs that is screened at the Golden Cinema on the last day of camp. A new script for the movie is in the works. Call the museum at 250-344-5169 or e-mail museum.golden@gmail.com to reserve a spot.

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