Harvey Reginald MacMillan

Harvey Reginald MacMillan, entrepreneur (b at Newmarket, Ont 9 Sept 1885; d at Vancouver 9 Feb 1976). After studying at the Ontario Agricultural College and the Yale Forestry School, MacMillan worked on the BC coast as a timber cruiser in 1907.

Harvey Reginald MacMillan

Harvey Reginald MacMillan, entrepreneur (b at Newmarket, Ont 9 Sept 1885; d at Vancouver 9 Feb 1976). After studying at the Ontario Agricultural College and the Yale Forestry School, MacMillan worked on the BC coast as a timber cruiser in 1907. Although he was hired as assistant inspector of forest reserves for western Canada in 1908, tuberculosis forced him to spend the next 2 and a half years in a sanatorium. In 1912 he became chief forester for BC, a post he kept until WWI, when he became timber-trade commissioner for the federal government, assistant manager of the Chemainus plant of Victoria Lumber and Manufacturing Co. and, by the end of the war, an employee of the IMPERIAL MUNITIONS BOARD. In 1919 MacMillan, backed by British timber merchant Montague Meyer, launched the H.R. MacMillan Export Co. His manager and later partner was W.J. Van Dusen, and the 2 men developed the company into a major exporter of lumber. Competition was met with aggressive marketing, the purchase of sawmills and timber limits, and the building of a plywood plant in 1935. During WWII MacMillan was chairman of Wartime Shipping Ltd, a crown corporation. After the war he continued to expand his company, building the Harmac Pulp Mill in 1947. In 1951 the company merged with Bloedel, Stewart and Welch. In 1956 MacMillan resigned as chairman, and in 1970 he and Van Dusen resigned as directors, but MacMillan maintained his interest in MACMILLAN BLOEDEL until his death.


Further Reading

  • Donald McKay, Empire of Wood (1982).