Chapter 6

On November 23, 1940 just over a year after the beginning of the Second World War, the entire plant was again destroyed of fire. On the night of the fire, crews of east-bound trains reported that the reflection of the flames could be seen from as far away as Sackville N.B.

A fir at this time when most of the production was being ear-marked for the War effort was a great blow.

Even though plagued by wartime shortages, “J.S.” was able to quickly erect a new building, and, what proved to be much more difficult, to locate sufficient machinery to start a production line.

Soon they were at work again producing these chairs, that many servicemen who served all across Canada from 1939 to 1945 remember using in their barracks.

However, just as everyone was recovering from wartime difficulties and shortages, Bass River was hit with yet another disaster. What else but another fire! This on July 27, 1948 destroyed the entire plant.

A lesser man would have given up, but J.S. Creelman possessed the grit of his Ulster Scots ancestors, and under his leadership the Dominion Chair Company commenced immediately to rebuild. By Sept. 4, 1948, the foundation was in, and part of the walls were up.

A hardwood school chair has earlier been designed by the Company, and for the next decade the new school construction all across the Province, created a very heavy demand, so heavy in fact that they could hardly keep up with it.

Gradually the demand slackened, as other Companies brought out plywood and plastic designs, and as a result the Company went back to its original purpose, that of producing well crafted hardwood furniture.

By 1970 Mr. Creelman was nearly ninety years of age, and ill health forced him to relinquish direct oversight of the business. He had served as Managing Director for nearly fourty-five years.

Looking back to 1860, when the first pieces of furniture were produced, the Company Managers have been:

  • George Fulton 1860-1886
  • Suther B, Fulton 1886-1899
  • Somerville Fulton 1899-1902
  • Edward Fulton 190201912
  • Reuben Starratt 1912-1924
  • Scott Fulton 1924-1925
  • Percy D. Hill 1925-1926
  • James S. Creelman 1926-1971
  • John R. Creelman 1971-1984 Acting Manager and Manager
  • James H. Grue 1984-

In 1985 the Company was reorganized. Mr. John Ballard became owner, and the name of the Company was changed to Dominion Chair Company (1985) Limited. Mr. James H. Grue remaining as manager.