Saturday we visited the Taylor Sawmill in Derry, NH.
The sawmill does demos the second and fourth Saturday of the month during the warmer months of the year (water levels permitting).
Small sawmills like these dotted the NH landscape in the mid-1800's. Situated along a river or stream that could be dammed, a sawmill would serve the need for timbers and planks for a local market.
The miller would also be farming, so the sawmill was a part time venture.
By raising the gate controlling the water in the 10 acre pond above the mill, water flows over the wheel making it turn and providing power to the sawmill.
These workings, on the lower level of the mill, convert the power of the turning waterwheel into power to raise and lower the saw blade.
Logs were floated or moved by oxen to the sawmill. The bark would have been removed by hand.
Once a log was fastened to the frame, the miller uses controls to start or stop the saw blade.
The blade can cut at a rate of 50 - 60 up and down motions per minute. Sawdust was flying and the log moved fairly quickly.
The next date for cutting will be July 10, 2010. Stop by to check it out!
We noticed a few picnic tables, lots of people fishing, some dog walkers.
Beyond the 10 acre pond that's visible from the road, there is a 100 acre pond where I think there are walking trails. We didn't have time to explore that area. Perhaps next time!
For more information about the sawmill:
NH Division of Forests and Lands
19 hours ago