Marine on St. Croix in Washington County, Minnesota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
Powerhouse and Kiln
Sawmills cut logs into rough boards. The boards were then planed and smoothed to emerge as finished lumber.
To your left are the remains of the planing-mill powerhouse. The square stone at the bottom of the ruin once supported a 50-horsepower steam engine that was fueled by wood shavings. The depression to your right was where freshly planed lumber was kiln-dried to prevent warping. For years, lumber had simply been left outside to dry. Kiln-drying, which became widely used in Minnesota in the latter part of the 19th century, not only speeded up the process but also resulted in a greatly improved product.
Ease and speed
Before steam-power planers were perfected in the 1870s, all the work of smoothing boards was done with hand planes. In 1888, the mill reopened under the management of the Anderson and O'Brien Company with four power planers and a siding mill.
Erected by the Minnesota Historical Society.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Minnesota Historical Society marker series.
Location. 45° 11.849′ N, 92° 46.103′ W. Marker is in Marine on St. Croix, Minnesota Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Marine on Saint Croix MN 55047, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Minnesota's First Commercial Sawmill (within shouting distance of this marker); The Pineries are Gone (within shouting distance of this marker); Marine Mill Site (within shouting distance of this marker); Boom, Then Bust (within shouting distance of this marker); Early Settler's Cabin (within shouting distance of this marker); Technological Revolution (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Marine (about 500 feet away); a different marker also named Marine (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Marine on St. Croix.
More about this marker. [photo captions]
• What the planing mill, powerhouse and drying kiln may have looked like in 1888. David Geister rendering (2000), Minnesota Historical Society
• Walker, Judd and Veazie Lumber Company planing mill and crew, 1874, Minnesota Historical Society
Also see . . . Minnesota Historical Society. Marine Mill. "Perched on the bluff of the St. Croix River, on a six-acre plot lie remnants of a booming industry long past. In the autumn of 1838 Illinois lumbermen David Hone and Lewis Judd arrived in the St. Croix River valley. Attracted by the area's abundant white pine, they selected this site to build a sawmill and named it after their hometown, Marine, Illinois." (Submitted on April 25, 2012.)
Additional keywords. National Register of Historic Places #70000311
Categories. • Industry & Commerce •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 25, 2012, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 367 times since then and 21 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on April 25, 2012, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.