History History

The documentation of the mill’s construction is found in the diary of Dr. Horace Amelius Barrows, a local Bolsters Mills’ physician and an investor, with his brothers Worthy and George, in the “Saw Mill Enterprise”.

The following entries from Dr. Barrow’s diary chronicles the mill’s earliest beginnings:

“Fryday 6 November 1846 - Bro. Worthy and his crew have been down today and laid the corner stone or foundation stone of the new city at Carsley’s Falls”.

“Monday 12 July 1847 - At 3 pm I set off for the new Mill Dam down river as this afternoon was the time appointed for the raising of the new saw mill”

“Fryday 15 October 1847 - Bro. Worthy has been up this evening and informs us that our new Saw Mill has commenced its specific operations this day by sawing a yellow birch for Headstock”.

The diary tells us that, by 1849, Bro. Worthy had tired of the saw mill business and would be willing to sell it for less than what he had invested. In January 1851, the mill was sold to his mill man, Elijah Scribner and his son Cyrus. From 1851 through 1962, three generations of Scribners owned and operated the mill and two additional generations worked in the mill.

(H. A. Barrow diary, property of the Maine Historical Society Portland, ME.)

The Scribner Family
Cyrus Scribner was 42 when he married Hannah Prince and three sons were born of this union. Jesse, the second of three sons, was born in 1870. Cyrus continued the operation of the mill, after Elijah’s death for eight years. By 1884, Cyrus was physically unable to operate the mill and turned its operation over to his two young sons Bourdon, age 16, and Jesse, age 14.

It was not long before the two brothers had started to modernize and enlarge the mill. In addition to the mill on the Crooked River, they expanded their business to include mills in Norway and Roxbury, Maine.

In 1895, the two brothers invested in a saw mill in northern Florida. As fortune would have it, that next March a freshet (flood) took out the north east corner of the mill. When the brothers were called home to “see to” the repair of the mill, they walked away from their Florida venture, never to return. Bourdon eventually purchased and operated a mill in E. Hiram, ME while Jesse continued the operation at Scribner’s Mill.

The peak of operation at Scribner’s Mill started during the First World War and continued to the end of the Korean War. In addition to the usual line of lumber products, the mill manufactured shook (box parts) which was used for shipment of ammunition abroad.

As Jesse aged, modern technology revolutionized the lumbering business and the old mill was unable to compete. Jesse eventually limited his work to the manufacturing of wood shingles. It was not until the age of 92, that Jesse retired and his grandsons stopped hauling-in logs from the mill pond for him. He died in 1970 just shy of his 100th birthday.


The Mill
This structure evolved in three stages. The original 1847, 25' x 60' mill building contained a log ramp, haul-in wheel, log carriage, sash saw, and a circular dagon (cut off saw). In 1863, a tool room was added on the west side of the building as well as a south addition used for the manufacturing of shingles and barrels. The west ell was added in 1916 for the introduction of a lathe used for the manufacturing of Peavey handles, etc.

Visit Scribners Mill Visit Scribners Mill

Scribners Mill Rd
Harrison, Maine 04040

All are welcome to visit the mill and homestead grounds anytime, however the buildings are closed except during the following times:

Open 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month, 1-4 pm, from Memorial Day to Labor Day.



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