Source: Société d’histoire de la Rivière-du-Nord, “Rolland inc.” Fonds.
Reference no.: P001,S6,SS04,D01,P01
Saint-Jérôme’s transformation from village to industrial town began in the 1880s. Gradually, new industries were established along the shores of the Rivière du Nord, exploiting its water power. These companies’ products were distributed not only in the surrounding region, but throughout Quebec and the rest of Canada, and even outside the country, as in the case of Rolland.
To reduce the cost and improve supply of paper required for their books, the members of the Rolland family, owners of the J.B. Rolland & fils printing plant and bookstore in Montreal, decided in 1881 to build their own fine paper mill. At Antoine Labelle’s urging, they chose a large piece of land on the shore of the Rivière du Nord in Saint-Jérôme. The Rolland Paper Company mill was inaugurated with great ceremony in 1883.
The company has created many jobs in the region in the years since. The mill is still in operation, producing Rolland’s famous fine papers mainly for the commercial, government and publishing markets. The family ran the company for 113 years; its last president, Lucien Rolland, died on April 19, 2016, aged 99.