Ontario's Historical Plaques 

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Reesor Siding Incident 1963

Reesor Siding Incident 1963

Photo by contributor John Carman Shultis - Posted May, 2005

Reesor Siding Incident 1963

Photo Source - Wikipedia

Reesor Siding Incident 1963

Photo from Google Street View ©2011 Google - Posted January, 2011

Plaque Location

The District of Cochrane
The Town of Hearst
Beside the Reesor Siding Monument,
south side of Highway 11
at Reesor Siding, 50 km west of Kapuskasing

Coordinates: N 49 34.333 W 83 04.735


Click here for a larger map

Plaque Text

This is the site of one of the bloodiest clashes in Canadian labour history. In January 1963, a contract dispute led to a strike by members of the Lumber and Sawmill Workers' Union who cut pulpwood for the paper mill in Kapuskasing. They tried to shut down the mill by blockading pulpwood shipments from independent contractors. Just after midnight on February 11, over 400 strikers arrived at Reesor Siding to dump logs stockpiled by a local woodcutters' cooperative. As they approached the woodpiles, 20 armed woodcutters began shooting. Three of the strikers were killed, another eight wounded. The tragedy prompted the provincial government to intervene and settle the strike by arbitration.


Assorted Events

Hearst Plaques

Here are the visitors' comments for this page.

> Posted February 22, 2012
I live in Hornepayne,Ont. Everytime I go out of town I have traveled past this site giving a silent prayer for some strage reason I just had to. Well a few months ago I was talking to my father Brian Ralston and he was telling me about how my aunt Brenda is do family resurch on my now decised grandmother's side of the family. He was telling me How my aunt had gotten so far in one area of the Reeser family tree ( an uncle's family) and It comes to an abrupt end. She told my father he was a timber cutter and was heading out to B.C. for the work with his family. A boy and girl, also his wife. She could not find any information on them out in B.C. I being to bough head that I am did not put two and two toghter untill after my grandmothers funeral. It would explain a lot if This family ended up being my long lost relative.

> Posted July 16, 2011
It seems odd to me that in B.C., the whole Reesor Siding event went unknown, probably to keep tempers down. But several years later I was a Sheriff's Officer in B.C., and as a junior officer I was sent to injunction about 200 protestors at a pulpmill site near Squamish, B.C. Our senior officers declined the offer of overtime-off, and I was sent with a new recruit because I was known as a "union man" in uniform. I served injunctions as directed in the order, and the crowd dispersed within half an hour. The case was settled in court several days later, and I haven't heard of it being mentioned since that time. I didn' know about Reesor Siding at the time, or perhaps I would have declined the overtime as well. Tempers were hot in those days, which was just shortly after the mini-depression of the early sixties. After much later hearing about Reesor Siding, I have a better appreciation of the wisdom of our Sheriff E.W. Wells in sending a "union man" (sympathizer) to talk to the protestors. That Squamish thing could have turned mean.

> Posted June 5, 2011
i have stopped at the reesor siding incident site every time I pass by. my last stop was on my trip home from working in regina sk.i am a member of the united brotherhood of carpenters.i stop here to remember what our fellow members did for the brotherhood.

> Posted August 21, 2010
I just passed there today and Googled it when we got to our room in New Liskard. Thanks for the post now our whole group know about the incident.

> Posted June 4, 2010
I travel this highway several times a year and have always been interested in stopping at this site. I did today and find the history both interesting and of course, tragic. I am gratified that we post reminders not only of what has shaped our history, but also of what can happen when events get out of control and become violent. I wish the grass had been cut (maybe too early in the year) and the road in desperately needs repair- I have a truck but don't think a car could have passed over the buckled road. I hope it will be fixed soon. A beautiful monument that should make us think about how we approach any problem.

> Posted November 14, 2009
I vividly remember the morning after the incident, I was 14 years old and was at school in Val Cote near ressor siding I knew people on both side of the dispute. It is a morning I'll never forget, and probably the reason I was so involved in my local union wherever I worked.
Denis Paquette

> Posted February 17, 2009
Thanks for this info posted. I have driven also by and questioned in my mind what the monument was all about.mcb

> Posted September 19, 2008
As the previous comment I also drive transport and have past this site many times and have wondered what happened here. Being an ex-railroader I thought it may have had something to do with the ONR tracks that pass by there. Happy to have finally read the story of what happened there and along with the two Great Fires in the area have learned a little more unknown history of Canada and Ontario. It is a great site and well kept. Thanks.

> Posted September 9, 2008
I have driven past that site many times as I traveled back and forth across Ontario but because I drive a transport and there isn't much place where I can safely pull off I haven't stopped,, I must say that the memorial and area is nicely done and well maintained most of the years (winter no with good reason)

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