Fonds PR-2305 - British Columbia Forest Products, Plywood Operations fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

British Columbia Forest Products, Plywood Operations fonds

General material designation

  • textual record
  • cartographic material
  • technical drawing
  • graphic material
  • multiple media

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on the contents of the fonds.

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  • 1942-1988 (Creation)
    British Columbia Forest Products, Limited

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Physical description

ca. 20 m of textual records, 166 photographs and ca. 140 technical drawings and cartographic material

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Administrative history

British Columbia Forest Products Limited (BCFP) was a forestry company that operated from 1946 to 1986 in British Columbia. Formed in 1946 by E. P. Taylor and a group of personal friends, BCFP acquired the assets of numerous lumber, investment and holding companies in the Vancouver area and on Vancouver Island. Among others, these acquisitions included: Sitka Spruce Lumber Company, Vancouver; Cameron Lumber Company, Victoria; Hammond Lumber Company, Hammond; and, Industrial Timber Mills, Cowichan Lake, Vancouver Island. Over the next forty years, BCFP expanded to include timber production, pulp and paper, veneer, plywood and transportation operations. For many years, it was considered to be the second largest forest company operating in the province. The plywood operations of British Columbia Forest Products were Victoria Plywood of Victoria, BC and Delta Plywood of New Westminster, BC. Expanding on newly-acquired Vancouver Island operations, British Columbia Forest Products entered the plywood market in 1952 with the construction of a plywood plant next to its Victoria Division sawmill (formerly the Cameron sawmill). Within a year, the plant's capacity had doubled and BCFP soon became one of the province's largest plywood producers. Victoria Plywood operated in conjunction with the BCFP's Cowichan Division veneer plant and sawmill at Youbou on Cowichan Lake, Vancouver Island. The veneer plant processed peeler logs and forwarded the veneer to Victoria for manufacture into plywood. In 1982, when operations at Victoria were discontinued as a result of reduced product demand, the Youbou veneer plant closed as well. British Columbia Forest Products' largest plywood operation, Delta Plywood, was built in 1972 at the site of an idle Canadian Plywood Corporation plant on Annacis Island in New Westminster, BC. The new operation replaced BCFP's recently-acquired DougIas Plywood plant destroyed by fire in 1971. Over 19 years, Delta Plywood successfully used and further developed the original Douglas Plywood customer list. Delta Plywood was one of largest and most modern coastal plywood producers in British Columbia and one of the last veneer and plywood plant dependent on logs from coastal British Columbia. The plant ceased operations in 1991. In 1986, British Columbia Forest Products was acquired by Fletcher Challenge of New Zealand. Many of the facilities, including Delta Plywood, continued to operate under Fletcher Challenge Canada.

Custodial history

Records were retained on site at Fletcher Challenge Canada operations in New Westminster, Victoria and Youbou until donation to the Royal British Columbia Museum in 1992 and 1995. In 2012 the records were transferred to the BC Archives.

Scope and content

Fonds consists of administrative and operating records of British Columbia Forest Products Limited in British Columbia between 1946 and 1986, pertaining particularly to plywood production, 1952-1986. Incorporated are records of predecessor companies including Industrial Timber Mills of Cowichan Lake and Douglas Plywood of Vancouver. The fonds illustrates the operating data and composition of working documentation for single plant operations that formed part of a multi-plant company. The fonds is comprised of the records of two of the corporate divisions involved in plywood production: Victoria Plywood and Sawmill and Delta Plywood. Topical files, financial statements, working files, equipment documentation, ledgers and registers, technical drawings and cartographic material predominate. Content pertains to all aspects of division and plant operations including, but not limited to, products, finances, suppliers, clients, markets, partners, facilities, equipment, supplies and human resources. Records from the Victoria Plywood and Sawmill division pertain to operations at Victoria, BC. They were created between 1942 and 1988 and are in three series: 1. Manager's Office files, ca.1950 to 1988, ca. 3.5 metres; 2. Accountant's Office files, 1942 to 1987, ca. 4 metres, and; 3. Cowichan District plans and drawings, ca.1950 to ca.1975, ca. 120 items. The Cowichan Division operated an affiliated veneer plant and sawmill at Youbou on Cowichan Lake, BC. Records from the Delta Plywood division consist of operating files for the plant at New Westminster, BC and pertain to administration and finance. Series are: 1. Administration,1970-1985, ca. 1.5 metres; 2. Accountant's Office, 1972-1985, ca. 3 metres and 3. Douglas plywood project financial files. Alphabetical-chronological filing arrangements have been retained and reconstructed. The fonds also contains a scrapbook of construction photographs.

Notes area

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Original alphabetical-chronological arrangements of office files were retained and reconstructed where necessary.

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Location of originals

A substantial quantity of material that was originally in the museum's custody, and listed, is unaccounted for. According to Bob Griffin, material containing personal information was returned to the company. However, only a portion of the missing files are deemed to be personal and there is personal information still in the portion accounted for. The missing files may remain undetected in storage somewhere Of the missing material, 76 files and 21 ledgers are from Victoria Plywood and 502 files are from Delta Plywood.

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Finding aids

Series descriptions and file lists are available.

Associated materials

The British Columbia Archives holds 37 sound recordings made by British Columbia Forest Products for a corporate history project in 1974-1975 (Call number: T4104). The subsequent publication is First Growth: The Story of British Columbia Forest Products (Call number: NW 338.7674 B865). The BC Archives also holds records of the Cameron Lumber Company of Victoria.

Related materials


No further accruals expected.

General note

Accession number(s): 2012.250, 2014.59.

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