Mansfield-et-Pontefract is a United Township in the Pontiac region of western Quebec, Canada. It is located on the Ottawa River, northwest of Gatineau. It was formed from the merger of Mansfield Township and Pontefract Township.
It is home to the main tourist attractions of the Pontiac region: the Chutes Coulonge and the Marchand Bridge.
History - Source: www.chutescoulonge.qc.ca
When the American Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars cut off timber supplies for ship masts from New England and the Baltic Countries, Great Britain turned her attention to Canada as a supply source for it's timber. In 1800, Philimon Wright came from Boston to Ottawa and sent the first Canadian squared timber raft down the Ottawa River to Quebec City. Mr. George Bryson Sr. and his family were largely responsible for developing the timber industry in the Pontiac. Born in 1813, Mr. Bryson was 8 years old when he came to Canada from Paisley Scotland. In 1845, he married Robina Cobb whom he had met on his voyage to Canada. In the late 1830's and early 1840's large timber firms began to take over from private producers. Around this time, Mr. Bryson left Lanark County and made his way to Pontiac County to make his fortune. He settled near the mouth of the Coulonge river and acquired thousands of acres of timber rights in the area including 200 acres of timber surrounding the Coulonge Falls. This was the squared timber era and the huge white pine found at the Coulonge Falls and along the Coulonge River were in great demand. The enormous white pine were cut in 60 ft. (20 m.) lenghts and squared off with broad axes. The Coulonge Falls was a major obstacle in the transportation of this timber. Because of this, a wooden log slide was constructed in the same location where the cements slide exists today. It measured approximatly 3000 ft. (1000 m.) in lenght and ran from the head of the falls to the end of the gorge.
In the late 1940's, Mr. J. E. Boyle came to the Pontiac on the advice of Mr. Claude Marion. He set up logging operations with saw mills near Waltham and at Jim's Lake. In the mid 1950's Mr. Boyle pruchased the mill in Davidson from "James Davidson and sons". The first General manager was Mr. Ted Rainboth, followed by Mr. Lorne Routliff. Mr. Claude Marion was assistant general manager, Ferdinand Mercier was mill manager and Mr. Milton Mousseau was superintendent of road construction and the river drive. Mr. Boyle sold the mill to E. B. Eddy in 1965.