1920's American Sawmill

A vintage sawmill gets a timber framed home.


    This project is not one accomplished by one person but by a group of dedicated volunteers at the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. The construction of this building is still another addition to Millbrook Village, New Jersey. The Sawmill houses a 1920's American sawmill, manufactured in Hackettstown New Jersey.
1920's American Sawmill

    The construction of the Mill has been underway for almost 18 months. It began with the installation of the saw and trolley mechanism, which we attached to a solid foundation.
Millbrook Village Sawmill

    After the saw was in place, the timber framing started. John Tauke, the engineer and outstanding construction worker for this endeavor, headed this project. The wagon shop at the Village did most of the mortise and tenon work for the sawmill. The biggest reason for this choice is that the shop has a very large potbelly stove to keep off the bite of winter.
    In the spring of 2004, we relocated all of the timbers to the mill site for fitting and positioning before the raising of the building.
Millbrook Village Sawmill

    The raising of the building took place on Memorial Day of 2004. We started at 10:00 a.m. with the raising of the first vent.
Millbrook Village Sawmill

    Each section went up without any major problems. In fact, it was a very smooth operation. It was necessary to use a gin pole and pikes to raise the heaviest portion of the structure.
Millbrook Village Sawmill

    The entire event continued like clockwork. By noon, the structure was taking shape and it was time for all to have a much-needed lunch break.
Millbrook Village Sawmill

    After lunch, the work progressed with the same degree of excitement. One of the unique bits of engineering is the scarf joint seen going together. This joint joins two 30-foot timbers together making the 60-foot beam to span the length of the sawmill.
Millbrook Village Sawmill

    By 6:00 p.m., the tin roof was going on the mill. The weather held out to make it a very enjoyable day for all. This event was a satisfying and rewarding adventure not only to the people doing the actual work but also to those who witnessed the production. I believe that everyone came away from the experience with a better understanding of 18th and 19th century construction.

. . . Jim Kyle



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