LOGGIE, ANDREW, businessman; b. 14 July 1848 in Black Brook (Loggieville), N.B., son of Alexander Loggie and Georgina Gray Jardine; d. unmarried 23 July 1928 in Dalhousie, N.B.
Andrew Loggie was a great-grandson of Robert Logie (Loggie), a fisherman from the River Spey in Morayshire, Scotland, who emigrated with his wife and several children around 1780 and settled on the south side of Miramichi Bay, N.B. Over the generations, various descendants became involved in the commercial fishery in the bay and the Gulf of St Lawrence; Loggie and Anderson, A. and D. Loggie Company, W. S. Loggie Company, and A. and R. Loggie Company were among the firms that carried the family name. The fishery had been one of the leading industries of the Miramichi area ever since William Davidson* and John Cort received a 100,000-acre township grant on the river in 1765, with fishing rights attached. During the first 100 years, fish were salted or canned before being shipped, but the network of railways that came into being in the second half of the 19th century enabled merchants to deliver fresh fish to the larger ports for shipment overseas or directly to markets in the United States. Between 1870 and 1900 there was rapid growth in the volume of fish exported from New Brunswick, much of it in a fresh or fresh-frozen state.
In the mid 1870s Andrew Loggie and his brother Robert, who had a small general store at Black Brook, entered the fish packing and shipping business on an ambitious scale. The Miramichi was famous for Atlantic salmon, but they concentrated on shipping fresh-frozen smelts to the United States. By 1879 they were among the leading suppliers of this product in the region and one of the top five shippers of fish from Chatham and Newcastle. In 1881 they incorporated as the A. and R. Loggie Company, with Andrew and Robert as president and vice-president respectively. Later their younger brother Francis Peabody became a partner and secretary-treasurer.
Before the end of the 1880s the company was one of the largest packers and exporters of fish in Atlantic Canada. On the merchandising side, it also grew rapidly, opening general stores at Black Brook, Dalhousie, Richibucto, and elsewhere. In the years that followed, the firm continued not only to expand but to diversify. Although its home base was still at Black Brook, or Loggieville as it became known in 1895, business was now being conducted all over northeastern New Brunswick, as well as in Quebec, Nova Scotia, Maine, and Vermont.
From northern New Brunswick, the company exported 4,000,000 pounds of fresh and frozen salmon annually, much of it to Britain and Germany. Lesser quantities of mackerel and other kinds of fresh and fresh-frozen fish were shipped to both European and North American destinations from ports along the coast of the Gulf of St Lawrence in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Each year, about 300,000 pounds of clams were canned for export at a plant at Inkerman, N.B. A million tins of smelts, 60,000 pounds of canned lobster, and 80,000 pounds of finnan haddie packed in boxes rounded out the annual shipments of sea products. Most of the canning and packaging was done under the company’s Eagle Brand label. The Loggies were primarily buyers rather than harvesters, but they owned a back-up fleet of 25 fishing vessels and a variety of other commercial watercraft.
Given these facts, it is surprising to learn from an 1904 article in the Miramichi Advance that the company’s largest output was no longer in fish. The Loggies then had 13 huge ice houses at different locations in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Quebec in which, in addition to fish, they stored large quantities of beef, pork, poultry, and game birds. They were a major producer of wild blueberries, for which they operated three canneries in New Brunswick, six in Quebec, and one in Vermont. They also canned vegetables and other fruit. In all, they owned 17 canneries in two provinces and two states. At Loggieville they operated a can and box factory and an electricity generating plant, from which they sold surplus energy to customers in the village. They had a number of unrelated business interests as well, such as fox ranching and river and harbour dredging.
Besides heading up the family firm, Andrew Loggie acted as Loggieville’s postmaster for 33 years, starting in 1877. He resigned the office in 1910, when he moved to Dalhousie for business reasons, but he retained the presidency of the A. and R. Loggie Company until his death in 1928, at age 80. The press reported that he left an estate valued at more than $750,000, mostly in “cash in the bank.” His successor as president was his brother Robert, who had been based at Loggieville throughout. Robert lived until 1940, surviving his younger brother Frank by one year. These men also left large personal estates.
A. and R. Loggie was successful as long as its founders were alive and was continued as a family-owned business until 1945. The firm was then sold with its corporate name intact. It rapidly declined in importance, but scored a first in 1953 when it introduced pre-cooked fish to the Canadian market. The company was producing 78,000 fish sticks a day in 1958, the year before it was acquired by Eagle Fisheries, a subsidiary of National Sea Products Limited.
NA, ArchiviaNet, Post offices and postmasters, Loggieville, N.B. (database on its website, www.archives.ca). PANB, MC80/743; RS141C5, F18932, no.429030. “A. & R. Loggie: the king canners and fresh fish exporters of eastern Canada,” Miramichi Advance (Chatham, N.B.), 10 Nov. 1904. [This article is particularly valuable, thanks to the fact that the editor of the paper, David George Smith, was fishery commissioner for New Brunswick and had a keen personal interest in the subject. w.d.h.]. Commercial and the World (Chatham), 17 Feb. 1955, 6 Feb. 1958, 2 April 1959. North Shore Leader (Newcastle, N.B.), 27 July 1928. Union Advocate (Newcastle), 14 Jan. 1880, 19 Sept. 1928. J. A. Fraser, A history of the W. S. Loggie Co. Ltd., 1873–1973 (Fredericton, 1973); Loggieville: child of Miramichi (Fredericton, 1973). W. D. Hamilton, Dictionary of Miramichi biography; biographical sketches of men and women born before 1900 who played a part in public life on the Miramichi: Northumberland County, New Brunswick, Canada (Saint John, 1997).