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Remember This? A man who saw both forests and trees

Maxwell MacLaggan was a conservationist, forester and force for good in his community
Maxwell MacLaggan

From the archives of the Sault Ste. Marie Public Library:

Abitibi Power and Paper Company was a major industry in Sault Ste. Marie and played an important role throughout our city’s history.

Maxwell MacLaggan was the Woods Manager for a number of years and added greatly to the Canadian forestry industry. Born in 1907 in Blackville, New Brunswick along the shores of the Miramichi River. MacLaggan graduated with a degree in Forestry in 1930 from the University of New Brunswick.

MacLaggan arrived in Sault Ste. Marie in 1940 and began working for Abitibi as the Assistant Woods Manager. From 1941 until 1946 during WWII, he served overseas with the Forestry Corp. While attached to the British army in Berlin he helped the German forest industry rebuild and revitalize itself. When he returned to Canada in 1946, he rejoined Abitibi as Assistant Woods Management. In 1948, he was promoted to Woods Manager, first at Pine Falls, Manitoba.

In 1950, he was transferred to Sault Ste. Marie, a position he held from until 1954. MacLaggan was then moved to Port Arthur (now known as Thunder Bay) in the same position as Woods Manager but extended over the operations not only in Sault Ste. Marie but also in Sturgeon Falls. In 1964, he was promoted to Secretary Manager of the Ontario Forest Industries Association.

Max MacLaggan had a talent for communication and promotion, a skill that helped him excel not only in his career but also his personal life. MacLaggan was instrumental in creating the St. Andrew’s United Church Men’s Club. He also served as a member of the Committee for the St. Andrew’s United Church. In addition to these activities, he was also a member of the Victorian Order of Nurses Committee. MacLaggan’s work in the Forestry Industry made him an excellent representative for conservation through his organization the A.F.C. (Adequate Forest Cover), a club that included members from all over Canada.

Maxwell MacLaggan passed away on June 12, 1977, leaving behind a significant contribution to the Canadian Forestry Industry as well as an impact on the communities in which he resided during his lifetime.

Each week, the Sault Ste. Marie Public Library and its Archives provide SooToday readers with a glimpse of the city’s past.

Find out more of what the Public Library has to offer at and look for more "Remember This?" columns here.

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