Uncovering the Lost Sawmill of Saline

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By Brad Dison

All my life I’ve heard stories about the sawmill in Saline.  My grandfather, Neal Dison, worked at the sawmill and lived in one of the several houses which were purpose-built by the sawmill operators to house its workers.  As I child, I remember being amazed at the thresholds between rooms because they were cut from the outermost layer of a pine tree.  Each one had a small arch from the natural curve of the pine tree, and the knots were still visible.  His house was the last of the sawmill workers homes.  Nothing remains of his home today.

Through the years, I had heard him tell stories about the sawmill, but by the time I came along, the 1970s, the sawmill had ceased operations.  I had always wondered what, if anything, was left of the Saline Stave Mill, as it was officially called.  Several people told me that the last time they went out there the old steam engine was still there.  I wondered if it was still there after all these years. With the permission of the current landowner, I trudged through the woods with a video camera to film what I found.  Here is that film.

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