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Dictionary of Miramichi Biography

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CASSADY, GEORGE (1850-1929)

CASSADY, GEORGE, building contractor and woodworking factory owner; b. Chatham, 1850, s/o David Cassady and Christian Anderson Christie; m. 1877, Jane Ross Dickson, d/o Jonathan Dickson and Mary Johnston, of Napan; d. Vancouver, B.C., 17 Jan 1929.

The son of a ship carpenter of Irish birth and Church of Scotland affiliation, George Cassady studied at the County Grammar School under James Millar. In the 1870s he advertised his services as an architect and engaged in the construction business in Chatham. In the summer of 1878 he was awarded the contract to erect St Michael's pro-cathedral, which replaced the structure destroyed by fire on the same site in February of that year. In 1879 he built the Loggie house, which is now the W. S. Loggie Cultural Centre; the James Kerr house on Water Street, which was favorably commented upon in the Miramichi Advance; and a new St Andrew's Sunday school hall, for which he was also the architect. In 1881 he framed William Muirhead's new sawmill. In 1882 he built an extension to J. D. B. Fraser Mackenzie's Medical Hall.

In the early 1880s Cassady, who was said to have learned woodworking in Boston and other American cities, opened a sash and door factory in Chatham. He advertised extensively in the newspapers and by 1886 was getting orders for windows, doors, and other manufactured products from as far away as Halifax. Such success encouraged him to seek greater opportunities, and in 1888 he sold the woodworking plant to John McDonald and moved to Vancouver, taking much of his machinery with him.

In Vancouver, Cassady formed a partnership with a lumber firm, and within a few months of his arrival opened a "fine new sash and door factory." A photograph from 1890 shows a huge "Cassady's Planing Mill" and associated buildings. Another from 1897 shows the "Commercial Sawmill, Cassady & Co.," but by 1899 the Cassady mill was idle, and he may have been out of business.

In 1903 Cassady became manager of the Columbia Cold Storage Co. in New Westminster, B.C. He kept his job when this firm was absorbed by B.C. Packers, and until his retirement. He was "of a mechanical turn of mind," stated the British Columbian, in an obituary, "and invented a steam engine, the perfecting of which absorbed much of his time and energy." He was survived in 1929 by his wife, Jane R. Dickson, a son, George L. Cassady, who was a lawyer in New Westminster, and three daughters.

Sources

[b] Gleaner 19 Nov 1849 (parents' marriage); 1851 census (age 1) [m] Telegraph 26 Oct 1877 [d] official records / Advance 20 Nov 1879, 28 Apr 1881; Advocate 29 Sep 1886, 4 Apr 1888; British Columbian 17 Jan 1929; Evening Herald (B.C.) 17 Apr 1888, 9 Jun 1888; Fraser (C); Leader 30 Dec 1992; Vancouver City Archives (photos); World 21 Oct 1882, 7 Apr 1883 (ad)


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