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Old Time Trains

Booth & Shannon 1905
P & J Shannon Lumber
Pratt & Shanacy

Biscotasing a.k.a "Bisco"

Brian Westhouse

Booth & Shannon 1, a unique 0-4-2T with a load of ties. 1905

There was a small portable mill at Biscotasing operated by Leech and Rowan, under contract to CPR in 1886, this was, however, moved to Bright township near Algoma Mills, under order from the railway.

The mill built by Sadler and O'Neill in 1894 was constructed on land owned by Canadian Pacific Railway and closed in 1898. I have no record of any contract by them to supply to the CPR. Booth and Shannon who had been logging the area since 1895, leased the mill site in 1901 and although I have found no record of them supplying to the CPR either, in 1903 the Booth and Shannon mill produced the lumber to build the Nicholson sawmill.

A fire at Biscotasing that consumed the sawmill June 12, 1913, is likely why this locomotive was replaced. I suspect the boiler of this original Biscotasing locomotive may have been used as a standby for the mill's fire pump, when the larger boiler that would have been required for the mill would have been shut down. I inspected an old boiler in 1992 behind the Biscotasing Inn (former Pratt & Shanacy Co. boarding house), which I was told, was part of the boiler of the sawmill, and its appearance leads me to believe it was in fact what was left of old #1.

The Biscotasing mill was last operated in 1927 and the mill was intact until 1938 when it was sold to Standard Chemical and moved to Harcourt.

Pratt & Shanacy 6 (ex P & J Shannon Lumber 6, nee Cavicchi & Pagano 8 (C)
MLW #49495 2/1911 Being rescued in 1958. MNR Chapleau

The second Biscotasing locomotive (#6) was donated to Algonquin Park (East Gate logging exhibit) in 1958 by D. L. Pratt of Toronto, a son of the Midland lumberman D. S. Pratt after laying derelict from 1927!


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