Progress continues at Chamberlin Mill despite the Coronavirus! A small group of well-distanced volunteers continues drainage work begun late last fall. Also, volunteers headed by recently retired contractor, Leo Morissette, are now in position to construct an important deck and shed attachment along the main entrance wall.
Plans for this attachment were generously contributed by Evelyn Cole Smith, Architects in consultation with the Mill’s building committee. Lyn Smith, a recently retired board member for Chamberlin Mill, Inc., has been an important contributor to the revitalization of Chamberlin Mill since this effort began. We thank her immensely.
The new 12’ X 26’ deck structure will be constructed to ADA standards to provide safe access for all visitors to the building’s main level from a newly graded parking and pathway area. Incorporated into the deck at its north end, in line with the interior saw box, a recreated lean-to shed will house the 1928 Studebaker engine that was an important power source for the saw in its last decades of operation.
Funds for this construction have been provided by Friends of Chamberlin Mill, whose continuing good will and generosity are essential to our effort to bring this historic sawmill back to life. These funds have been matched by substantial in-kind donations of labor and material from Leo Morissette and his volunteer team.
To respect the site’s history, photographs from the Chamberlin family album and other evidence were used to determine the location, size and style of the engine shed element of this project. As seen below, a 1939 photograph from the album shows the shed under construction; another photo from the early 1940s shows the shed as it remained for several decades of use before the Mill ceased operation. All that remains of the original shed are nail marks at roof height on the entrance wall of the Mill. Fortunately, the original Studebaker engine section, measuring over 10’ in length, was hardier than the shed intended for its protection. The recreated shed should give many more years of shelter for the remarkably surviving engine.
Photos from Chamberlin family album show engine shed under construction in 1939 and complete in early 1940s.
While we cannot promise a date certain for the Chamberlin Mill saw to be back in operation, the deck and shed project will bring us far closer to our goal. Stay in touch for developments. We are very eager to let you know when the saw is running!
A new website has also been completed in this period of distancing. Thank you to volunteer Amanda Bennett (www.bennettamanda.com), a young Artist, Social Media Manager, and Marketing Professional, who assisted the Mill during the transition of websites. The Mill moved its website to a new server, with revamped and expanded material. We will be sharing and posting seasonal updates to the blog for our community to enjoy. Amanda, our newest volunteer, has been a great gift to this project, for which we are very grateful.