The Mill transformed trees into Highly prized Lumber
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Volcanoguy
N 44° 02.783 W 121° 18.972
10T E 634892 N 4878402
History sign #6 of 7 in the Old Mill District of Bend, Oregon.
Waymark Code: WM7ZP0
Location: Oregon, United States
Date Posted: 12/29/2009
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member TheBeanTeam
Views: 1

There are seven history signs (installed in mid-2009) along the river describing the history of the Old Mill District. This sign is the second sign north of the bridge on the east side of the river.
Marker Name: The Mill transformed trees into Highly prized Lumber
Marker Text: Deschutes Pine was well known across the Country
From the woods to the Deschutes River, the log was hoisted by the bull chain into the mill from the river to the log deck. It was then directed to the band saw in one of the three head rigs, where the process began. It was head sawyer’s job to determine the best way to produce the highest quantity and quality of lumber from each log. This was a critical job and he was, understandably, one of the highest paid employees of the mill. At the direction of the head sawyer, the boards were sawed from the log as it was rolled for the best cuts. The clearest cuts with no defects were the highest valued lumber.
The boards were then conveyed to the edger which would remove the bark and square the slope edge referred to as the wane. Each piece then went through the trim saw where the boards were cut into even lengths, in two foot multiples. Can you imagine the noise inside the mill? The sawyers had to communicate by precise sign language to avoid fatal injuries.
Each band saw was a blade that consisted of a loop of sharpened steel that stretched vertically over two heavy iron wheels. The circumference could be a large as 52’ weighing 250 pounds, depending on the head rig. With the mill working around the clock, the saws had to be changed, maintained and sharpened many times a day to keep up with the workload. A nail, railroad spike or bullet in the log resulted in the immediate halt and change of the band saw.
The mill was powered by steam created from burning the sawdust that was produced as a by-product. The powerhouse, with its three smoke stacks, was operated by a three man crew, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. “When I was a kid, the black cinders were all over town. You couldn’t hang your laundry out to dry because they would get covered with cinders.” Dave Miller, Maintenance Superintendent, Last Plant Manager.

Historic Topic: Modern Age 1900 to date

Group Responsible for placement: Other

Marker Type: City

Region: Central Oregon

County: Deschutes

Web link to additional information: [Web Link]

State of Oregon Historical Marker "Beaver Board": Not listed

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Volcanoguy visited The Mill transformed trees into Highly prized Lumber 12/29/2009 Volcanoguy visited it