The Asam basket factory operated from 1920 to 1936. Yellow birch was reportedly the primary source of lumber for the factory.
The Asam mill can be seen in the foreground of this photo, while the Saginaw mill can be seen in the distance across the bay.
The basket factory was powered by steam supplied by burning refuse materials. Steam was also used as the primary source of heat inside the factory.
The factory employed about 18 people when it opened and produced various baskets and crates.
Unfortunately, the Asam basket factory closed during the depression due to lack of demand for the their product.
This photo shows Paul Assam and Louis McLeod handling wood straps for 11 quart basket handles. These baskets were just one of the products that would have been produced by this factory.
This photo shows some of the workers at Asam Basket Factory. Factory work was was done on a piece work basis, with an average worker turning out 500 items per day.
In the 1920s, lathe operators were paid $5.00/shift while general labourer was paid between $3.00 and $4.00/shift.
This 1975 Sault Star article explores the Asam family, owners of a Poplar Dale sawmill, one of the last steam-powered operations in the country.
The Sawmill, started in the 1930s, was built during the depression with whatever parts could be scrounged. The Asams purchased it in the early 50s and have lived from it since then.
Paul Assam's father was the owner of Asam's Basket Factory in Thessalon.