The Sherbrooke Cotton Factory

By Taylor McClure, Special to The Record
The Sherbrooke Cotton Factory
(Photo : Courtesy of the Eastern Townships Resource Center Textual Records Collection. The Sherbrooke Cotton Factory File P997)

In 1845, Canada incorporated its very first joint-stock company and what many individuals, including historians, have designated as the first cotton factory in the country. The company was known as the Sherbrooke Cotton Factory Co. and yes, the factory was located right here in Sherbrooke alongside the Magog River.
In 1844, a cotton factory was established on the north side of the Magog River in Sherbrooke, at the time known as the District of Saint Francis, and it was four storeys high with a bell tower. On March 29, 1845, an Act to incorporate the Sherbrooke Cotton Factory was put into effect on behalf of the crown. It officially became the first manufacturing company to be incorporated under Canadian law. This company was to operate the factory with a total of $12,000. Local businessmen, entrepreneurs, and merchants came together and each contributed a certain amount of money towards the operation. Among them was Alexander T. Galt, father of Confederation and local businessman, who was a large supporter of the company and contributed $500 out of his own pocket. See full story in the Tuesday, Sept. 17 edition of The Record.

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