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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Darien in McIntosh County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

200 Years of Sawmilling

 
 
200 Years of Sawmilling Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, August 2008
1. 200 Years of Sawmilling Marker
Inscription. For nearly two centuries the story of sawmilling in the Southeast was enacted on this point on the Altamaha River. In the summer of 1721, men from South Carolina sawed the 3-inch planks to build Fort King George. In 1736, indentured servants of the Scottish Highlanders set up pit saws here and sawed lumber for the permanent houses of Darien and for public buildings in Savannah and Frederica. This was the first commercial manufacture of lumber in Coastal Georgia. Through the years, sawmilling continued on this site. In the latter part of the 18th century, a large water mill was constructed and used here, operated by impounding tidal water in a basin on flood tide and sawing with the ebb.

In 1818, the Darien Eastern Steam Sawmill was built here. Designed by an engineer from London, the mill had five gang saws. In use, with brief interruptions, until about 1905, it was then dismantled because of lack of large timber. A circular sawmill, built alongside the same basin, took its place, to be used until the end of the sawmill era in Darien.
 
Erected 1957 by Georgia Historical Commission. (Marker Number 095-6B.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Georgia Historical Society/Commission marker series.
 
Location. 31° 
200 Years of Sawmilling Marker and one time Mill ruins image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, 2008
2. 200 Years of Sawmilling Marker and one time Mill ruins
21.864′ N, 81° 24.956′ W. Marker is in Darien, Georgia, in McIntosh County. Marker is on Ft. King George Dr.. Click for map. At Fort King George Historic Site. Marker is in this post office area: Darien GA 31305, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. How Steam Engines Worked (a few steps from this marker); Lower Bluff Sawmill (a few steps from this marker); Guale Indian Village (a few steps from this marker); To The Soldiers Of Fort King George (within shouting distance of this marker); Old Fort King George (within shouting distance of this marker); The Savannah Lumber Company (within shouting distance of this marker); Site of Early Spanish Mission (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Birthplace of John McIntosh Kell (approx. 0.6 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Darien.
 
Categories. Colonial EraIndustry & CommerceNotable EventsSettlements & Settlers
 
200 Years of Sawmilling , Lower Bluff Mill ruins image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, 2008
3. 200 Years of Sawmilling , Lower Bluff Mill ruins
Blockhouse at Fort King George, made from planks milled here image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, 2008
4. Blockhouse at Fort King George, made from planks milled here
200 Years of Sawmilling image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, 2008
5. 200 Years of Sawmilling
Saw (c.1700's) - Cypress planks were first sawn for the Fort King George blockhouse by David Duval and his sawyers, slaves from South Carolina. They utilized the pit-saw trestle and a vertical ripping saw blade. The pit-saw was controlled by the tiller man on the top of the squared log and the box man on the bottom, who wore a wide brimmed hat to protect his eyes from shavings.
200 Years of Sawmilling, Pit-saw trestle image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, 2008
6. 200 Years of Sawmilling, Pit-saw trestle
Tidal Sawmill (c. Early 1800's) - image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, 2008
7. Tidal Sawmill (c. Early 1800's) -
The first commercial sawmilling in this area harnessed the tides from the Darien River. Water from the high tide was collected through a sluice into a holding pond.When sawing, a gate was lifted and water flowed back to the river turning a water wheel. Planks were sawed for buildings in Darien and as far away as Savannah. The Overshot wheel with dam and sluice.
Steam Powered Sawmill ( c.1818 to 1925) - image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, 2008
8. Steam Powered Sawmill ( c.1818 to 1925) -
Steam power was introduced at the Lower Bluff in 1818. Timber rafts, constructed up river, were floated to those mills to be sawn. Freshly cut lumber was loaded aboard timber schooners and sent to foreign ports.In 1900 over 112.5 million board feet of timber were shipped from these local waters.
200 Years of Sawmilling image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud
9. 200 Years of Sawmilling
This is an actual band sawblade from Darien's sawmill complex. Five of these saws cut huge virgin timber from the Altamaha Basin, 1818-70.
200 Years of Sawmilling , Close-up of saw blade image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, August 27, 2008
10. 200 Years of Sawmilling , Close-up of saw blade
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 1,026 times since then and 22 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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