It wasn’t easy to attain this stature. The mills were extremely dangerous and unhealthy places to work in. Between 1850 and 1880, over 560 fatal accidents were recorded in the Eddy mills. Toxic gases from phosphorous and other chemicals used in the process caused serious illness to many of the 5,000 men, women and children employed at low wages and long hours in the mills of the 19th century. Besides the labourers and mill hands, there were floating armadas of squared timber and entire communities of loggers and raftsmen cutting and moving timber from the vast forest preservers of the upper Ottawa Valley to the Chaudière. In 1870 alone, there were over 16,000 loggers cutting timber for the Chaudière lumber barons, all part of this virtual empire based at the Chaudière.