Recently, I had the opportunity to tour the Hope Mill, just outside of historic Lang Village, in Keene, Ontario. It was a fascinating experience to see this fully functioning sawmill, running just as it did back in the 1800's using only water power.
Originally, the mill was built as a carding and fulling mill, by William Lang and his wife, Jane (Stewart) Lang, just north of Lang Village, on the shore of the Indian River. After the Lang sawmill burned down, William and his son-in-law, Richard Hope, added a sawmill to their existing operation.
At one point, the team had to shut down the saw because one of them smelled smoke. One can never be too careful when surrounded by wood, sawdust and a lot of friction from a 48" saw blade.
Because of the shutdown, we were invited to inspect things up close, in the work area. which allowed me to get some great detail shots of the machinery.
Under the Surface
Below the actual sawmill, we toured the inner workings of mill and were shown how the blade got it's power. All the machinery in the workshop area is also belt-driven, powered - as the sawblade - by water alone!
A Taste of YesterYear
Above the workshop (beside the sawmill) we stepped back in time to see how the family lived. From the rope-mattress bed to the wool-spinning room, and photos on the wall, it was an impressive journey. Our guides for the tour shared many details of this "pioneer life"