In the 1860s David Smallwood (grandfather of Joseph SMALLWOOD) began a sizable sawmill, which became the first in Newfoundland powered by steam. After the trans-insular railway reached Gambo in the 1890s, the town became a link between coastal boats and the rail line.
Residents continued to be employed cutting or processing timber products for other local mills and for large paper companies until a series of forest fires (especially in 1961) consumed most of the remaining stands. Although the railway ceased operations in 1988, Gambo on the route of the Trans-Canada Highway and at the start of the highway to northern Bonavista Bay, continues to be a major regional service centre.
Author ROBERT D. PITT
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