Big Salmon River was one of the most important and prosperous lumbering communities along the Fundy coastline, if not all of Canada. William Davidson saw the value of the land and built the first saw mill at Big Salmon River in 1845. This area was considered to have some of the finest wood in the world resulting in very successful milling operations. The wood was of top quality with much variety. The timber supplied the many needed parts for ships built during the golden age of sail, and, at one time, Big Salmon River was one of the world’s biggest suppliers of pulpwood for the paper industry.
Although there were precautionary measures taken to reduce the risk of fire which included large barrels of rain water collected for the roof, fire was the primary reason that four different mills were built or rebuilt over the years. Portable mills were also popular among lumbermen in and around Big Salmon River. These mills provided work to the residents and woodlot owners and operated over the years into the 20th century.