News Release Archive

It's Woodsmen's Day at the Sutherland Steam Mill in Tatamagouche
this Saturday.

Woodsmen and women come to the Sutherland Steam Mill every summer
to hone their skills in this fast-paced competition. The
competitors work up a sweat in events like pole climbing, axe
throwing, the bucksaw race and log handling.

Some of the competitors come back year after year. "They love the
smell of the place, and the heartbeat of it, as they call it,"
said Gil Appleton, of the Sutherland Steam Mill Museum.

When the steam mill is up and running visitors also notice the
heartbeat of the old mill. When the boiler is operating the
machinery, the whole mill comes alive. To preserve the antique
machinery the staff "steams up" the mill only a few times each
summer. Woodsmen's Day is one of these special days.

The old mill was originally a portable steam mill. In the late
1800's steam mills were enjoying a growing popularity because the
mills could produced 10 to 20 times more footage than their water
powered predecessors.

The permanent Sutherland Steam Mill was finished in 1894 and was
built right beside the train tracks. The sawyers filled barrels
until they were overflowing with water and put them on the roof
of the mill. This was a precaution against possible fires from
embers that flew from the trains as they passed the mill.

Besides lumber, the mill also produced carriages, windows and
doors. It also made the ornate gingerbread trim seen on Victorian

On Woodsmen's Day, the Sutherland Steam Mill will be sawing
hardwood and softwood. Visitors can watch as the hardwood,
particularly, birch and maple really sets the mill roaring.


Contacts: John Taylor      902-657-3016 or 902-657-3365

          Emma McKennirey  902-424-6435

          Joan Waldron     902-424-7398

trp                     July 23, 1996 - 9:25 a.m.