A piece of history sits in the Domtar mill in Espanola
Published Tuesday, February 6, 2018 7:25PM EST
Inside Espanola’s biggest employer, Domtar Pulp and Paper Mill, sits a piece of history.
It's a map, painted on one of the walls by a prisoner of war who was held there during World War II.
The name isn't fancy, but the story behind it is full of history.
It's called the "Map Room" and it's located in an enclosed area at the Domtar Pulp and Paper Mill, about an hour west of Sudbury.
"So the map was done to scale, you can see the scale here." said Sarah Lachance of Domtar.
According to former Espanola Historical Society President Tim Gallagher, the map was created by a man that was a navigator in the German Luftwaffe. The POW was also said to be a geography teacher and cartographer in civilian life.
"Espanola Pulp and Paper Mill was abandoned because of lack of work at the time, so it was used as a holding place for captured prisoners of war, which were brought back from Great Britain." said Gallagher.
Lachance says the flags on the painting show that the POWs used to track the progress in the war.
The map is detailed and for current workers, it's a fascinating part of the building's lore.
"For new hires and for anyone coming in interviewing, if they are going on tour, this is definitely a stop we take them in. We are proud of our heritage here." said Lachance.
One of the past mill managers built a room around the map and on the walls, there's a snapshot of what the town looked like from 1940 to 1943.
"Now it is cordoned off, so no damage can be done to it. It’s a lasting preserving memory of the days of the prisoner of war camp." said Gallagher.
Gallagher says he has met some of the POWs in Espanola and also visited them in Europe. These days, he keeps in touch with some of their children.