- CA OSC-ARC-02-1
- ca. 1906-1994
Part of Simpson Family fonds
The Simpson family fonds is primarily a compilation of the images and records of three corporate entities, (Kelowna Sawmill Ltd., S.M. Simpson Ltd., S & K Ltd.) as well as the records and images of S. M. Simpson’s sole proprietorship between 1913 – 1924, prior to the incorporation of S. M. Simpson Ltd.
The Kelowna Sawmill dates from 1892 when it was first established by Bernard Lequime, who subsequently sold it to David Lloyd-Jones in 1901. Lloyd-Jones had a variety of business partners during the time he owned the sawmill. In 1942, Stanley M. Simpson, the owner of S. M. Simpson Ltd., purchased and operated the Kelowna Sawmill until it was destroyed by fire in 1944. The corporate Kelowna Sawmill Ltd. was maintained and became the retail arm of S. M. Simpson Ltd. until 1956, when retail operations ceased.
Stanley M. Simpson arrived in Kelowna in 1913 and operated a sole proprietorship for the next eleven years (1913-1924) until incorporating S. M. Simpson Ltd. in 1924. During those early years, Simpson operated his business in two different downtown locations, as well as running, or partnering in various portable sawmills throughout the area. His sash and door factory on Abbott Street, manufactured and sold windows and doors, custom furniture, and wooden fruit boxes for the expanding Okanagan fruit and vegetable industry. The business operated out of this location until 1948.
Needing a reliable and accessible source of logs, Stanley Simpson bought land at Manhattan Beach along the lakeshore, in Kelowna’s North End. In 1930, he began constructing a sawmill and box factory and three years later, added a veneer plant to the site.
The Province of British Columbia created Forest Management licenses in 1951, when S. M. Simpson Ltd. was awarded Tree Farm License #9. Needing to diversity, S. M. Simpson Ltd. created S&K Ltd. to add a plywood manufacturing facility to the Manhattan site. It began operations in 1957.
In the following years S. M. Simpson Ltd. purchased other sawmills and logging operations, including Trautman Garraway in Peachland (1955), Peachland Sawmill & Box (1955), McLean Sawmills (1957), Lumby Timber Co (1959), Ferguson Brothers Lumber (1962), Stave Lumber (1962) Eagle Pass Lumber (1963), R&L Lumber (1964).
Stanley Simpson died in 1959. Horace B. Simpson, Stanley’s son, managed S. M. Simpson Ltd. until 1965 when the company was sold to Crown Zellerbach, Canada. A branch operation of the U.S. company, this was the first of a succession of owners, and though the Simpson name was attached to the operations for several years, the family was no longer involved.
In 1965, H.B. Simpson sold S.M.S. Ltd and its several associates and subsidiaries to the Canadian instance of Crown Zellerbach Corporation: Crown Zellerbach Canada. It continued operating as the S.M. Simpson Division of Crown Zellerbach Canada for several years until the name was changed to simply Crown Zellerbach Canada. In 1969, Crown Zellerbach purchased several more sawmills in the region, including Armstrong Sawmills operations in Armstrong, Enderby, Vernon and Falkland, as well as Ponderosa Pine Lumber Co. in 1970.
In 1981 Crown Zellerbach Canada was purchased by Fletcher Challenge Canada Ltd. and the entity’s name was changed to Crown Forest, and in 1987 the name changed again to Fletcher Challenge Canada Ltd. The company was then subsequently purchased by Riverside Forest Products in 1992. In 2004 Riverside Forest Products was purchased by Tolko Industries Ltd. which operated until 2020.
Scope and content
The sous fonds includes records generated by Stanley Merriam Simpson both before and after the corporate life of S.M. Simpson Ltd., and additionally documents a suite of succeeding companies that assumed the business operations and assets established by S.M. Simpson.
The sous fonds consists of a photographic record that documents the wood processing entity established by S.M. Simpson across iterations of corporate ownership, as well as business records relating to substantial operations, labour relations, safety programs, legal proceedings, and administration.