Arthur Peuchen in Alberta

Good to hear from you Jason.

There were quite a few questions raised in this thread.

It is true that you cannot search land titles in Alberta by name. We do have an efficient system based on the Torrens system, but you do need the legal description to do searches. There is a specific process for doing historic title searches (i.e. back thru time from the present) which is quite simple, but subject to fees. Our titles precede our entry into confederation so would certainly include any Peuchen titles... if you knew the legal description.

A different trace can be done by searching old property tax and school tax rolls, which in a small town like Hinton were probably kept in handwritten books by year, so could be whipped thru quickly by an amateur researcher looking for "Peuchen" or "Standard Chemical" as the taxpayer. It is merely a question as to whether the municipality, school board or local museum archive has retained the old tax roll books or not.

Hinton AB is home to a pulp mill; as Peuchen had definite interests in forestry and wood-based chemical products a connection is plausible. I've emailed the current owners of the Hinton mill to see if they have a historian on staff who might know if the mill (or another nearby) was ever owned by Standard Chemical. Many old Alberta newspapers are archived online through the University of Alberta and are keyword-searchable; unfortunately, there is no Hinton newspaper within that archive. Peel's Prairie Provinces - Sources for Western Canada and Western Canadian History

I live in Crowsnest Pass at the other end of Alberta, where Peuchen definitely had business holdings. In 1911 Peuchen purchased the Crowsnest Pass timber berths and Blairmore sawmill from Senator Peter McLaren, and slightly changed the company name to the McLaren Lumber Company. The original company had commenced operations in Alberta in 1881 with the purchase of an existing sawmill on Mill Creek; the logging camp was called Mountain Mill (a community no longer in existence, but some information on it is available by googling "Mountain Mill Alberta"). It is possible that the Mountain Mill farm or ranch is a mistaken reference to a part of Peuchen's timber holdings. However I am checking with the Kootenay Brown Museum archives in Pincher Creek, who might have records of a ranch under the name of Peuchen or his nephew. Again, old tax rolls might work, depending on what school district jurisdiction Mountain Mill fell under.

The Old Man River dam project proposed in 1920 was related to the collecting of logs floated downriver to the Fort Macleod sawmill.

In 1915 Peuchen purchased a two-storey brick retail building in Blairmore (Crowsnest Pass). It transferred to his daughter Jessie Thomson Lefroy (married to Henry Chichele Lefroy) in 1920; she held it until 1938. A. G. Peuchen is known to have visited the Crowsnest Pass in 1914, 1916, 1917, 1919, 1920, 1923, 1924, 1926 and 1928 (he died in 1929).

If anyone has specifics of Peuchen's other Alberta holdings, I'd like to hear about them. Maybe I can help further.

Jason D. Tiller

Dec 3, 2000
Niagara Falls, Ontario
Hi Ian,

During my trip out west last summer, I also visited Hinton, Blairmore and saw where the dam project would have been along the Old Man River. While in Hinton, I was informed that Peuchen may have lived just outside of the town. I'm aware that he owned forest reserves in Hinton and in Saskatchewan. As well, I do know that Peuchen had owned the McLaren Lumber Company, but had not come across the info that he purchased it as the Crowsnest Pass berths and Blairmore sawmill, so thank you for that tidbit of information.

Thanks for that link; I'll have a look at it and for your other useful information. I'm not aware that Peuchen owned any other Alberta holdings, but if you happen to come across any please do let me know.