"Gang Mill at Concessions, Nova Scotia" by Gérard Thériault,
as taken from the book “La Ville Française” by Alphonse Deveau.
"Moulin à Bois 'Gang Mill', Concessions, NS, by Don Dupont, Ottawa, Ontario
Some of the oldest Acadians remember the Henri LeBlanc Company of Concession. The members of the Henri LeBlanc Company included: Messrs. Cyriac LeBlanc, Joseph Gaudet, Jean LeBlanc and Henri LeBlanc. The company was founded in 1860 and retired from business in 1899.
The LeBlanc Company had a mill close to Patrice Road in Concessions. The mill originally used a set of vertical saws for cutting lumber, which gave the mill its English name of "Gang Mill". This name is still used today to designate a place as well as a mill in one place. (This company was called "Les Petits Blancs")
The LeBlanc Company had cleaned Rocks Creek and had built a dam all the way to "Dgible".
The dam maintained a reservoir of water that was necessary to run the mill in the spring. The company had bought the headland, known as "Dgible", and had cut the wood to make a field for cultivation and for pasture. For that big business, the company could not find enough workers in the vicinity, and so they hired men from the villages of Doucetteville and Ohio. Some of these men settled in Concessions where their descendants still live. The company had cleared two acres of land in the forest where they were raising sheep and cattle.
The logs that had been cut from this location had been brought down over Rock Creek and Cabin Creek and had been milled at "Gang Mill".
In the words of an old man from Concession, " Les Petits Blancs " were using fine yoke of oxen to haul them from the forest to the mill, and even to carry their sawn lumber to market: either the McLaughlins at Church Point, or Louis à Mandé Melanson at Church Point, or the Belliveau Company at Belliveau's Cove.
Their timber sales included the "cord wood" which was transported by ship to Boston, Massachusetts. This wood was used as fire wood for the mills of the states of New England. The trade, which was negotiated by the Reciprocity Treaty of 1854, unfortunately damaged the market demand for agriculture in Clare. The boats that brought over the fire wood, returned with corn and white flour bread. It became more economical to buy flour than to produce it locally which led to the decline of agriculture.
The organizers of the LeBlanc Company ceased to operate around 1899.
The age of the owners forced them to abandon their enterprise. An agreement was made among the family members, and a son of Cyriac LeBlanc, named Nicolas, continued operation of the mill. He bought new machines, including a circular saw. He had to replace the water wheel with a steam engine, because of a municipal regulation which prohibited flooding the marshes from June 4 to allow farmers to cut hay that grows in the marshes. A fire destroyed the mill in 1904, and as the owner could not pay his debts, his property was sold at auction. Three brothers - Henry, Cément and Daniel Gaudet bought the mill site. Their new mill, which still exists today, was powered by water. In addition to sawing their own logs, it was used by all those that transported logs to their mill. Thus, with this arrangement, the operation of the mill became profitable.