Sep 20-11

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2011: September: Sep 20-11
Ford Historic Sawmill    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Eric Stewart
Log deck area    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Eric Stewart
Inside the mill    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Eric Stewart
More of the workings    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Eric Stewart
Making lumber    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Eric Stewart

Mary Drew at Pasty Central (Mdrew) on Tuesday, September 20, 2011 - 07:33 am:

Eric Stewart stopped in Alberta for a tour of the Ford Historic Sawmill and village there and is sharing a quick trip through the mill with us here today. This sawmill was originally built by Henry Ford in 1935 and was then donated to Michigan Tech University in 1954. The mill still houses the machinery needed to run a sawmill, bandsaw, log carriage, edger and trimmer, so you can see what it was like back when it was producing wood. Michigan Tech's School of Forestry and Wood Products maintains the property now and uses the Ford Forestry Center and the surrounding acreage as a teaching and research facility for its own students and those from other schools of forestry, too. The village houses, still in place, provide overnight housing for those that study there.

It's nice to see the inside through Eric's eyes, since I'm sure there are many like myself, who've driven by, but never taken the time to stop by and take a tour. Thanks, Eric!

By Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Tuesday, September 20, 2011 - 07:36 am:

Very cool. I've always wondered what it looks like in there. Thanks!

By Janie T. (Bobbysgirl) on Tuesday, September 20, 2011 - 07:38 am:

Very interesting and great pictures! I didn't know about this place.

By Marsha, Genesee/Aura (Marsha) on Tuesday, September 20, 2011 - 07:41 am:

They also rent cabins there! I don't remember what the price was (I think it's on the sign in front), but it was very reasonable.

By Marsha, Genesee/Aura (Marsha) on Tuesday, September 20, 2011 - 08:09 am:

I just stumbled across this article about Pequaming and Alberta and found it contained a lot of information that I hadn't read before.

By Eric Stewart (Estew) on Tuesday, September 20, 2011 - 08:43 am:

They told us the price to stay there overnight is $18 per person per night. Yes, I'd say that's pretty reasonable! Some of the houses are actually rented full-time, but others are available on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. And you're right in the middle of fantastic waterfall territory!

By Ray Laakaniemi (Rlaakan) on Tuesday, September 20, 2011 - 08:53 am:

I, too, have been by Alberta a hundred times or more and never stopped in.Maybe next time. Til then, thank you so much, Eric.

By JAD, Orgnst (Jandalq) on Tuesday, September 20, 2011 - 09:01 am:

Interesting article, Marsha. Thanks for the link. Ford's name always comes up when Alberta is mentioned, but this is the first time I've seen Edward Kingsford and Charles Hebard's names connected to the area. Their mention gives "roots" to the town of Kingsford and Hebard Park on the north shore of the Keweenaw.

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Tuesday, September 20, 2011 - 09:31 am:

Join the club, Mary and Ray; I have never stopped there for a tour either. I believe the next time we are in the area we will have to stop in as from the photos, it reminds me a lot of Hartwick Pines near Grayling.

By Shirley Waggoner (Shirlohio) on Tuesday, September 20, 2011 - 10:07 am:

WOW! what a time my paternal grandaddy would've had with that place! He had a sawmill (country type) down in Williamson Co., TN. As a child I loved watching the BIG saw/belt....of course I had to keep my distance. Also loved the aroma of the sawdust mound smoldering. Most of what he did was to produce bedslats/etc. for furniture companies in Nashville. Ahhh memories! :) Thanks for the 'reminder' of the past, Eric.

By School of Forest Res. & Env. Science (Forest) on Tuesday, September 20, 2011 - 10:12 am:

Visitors welcome! Learn more at:


By Hollidays (Hollybranches) on Tuesday, September 20, 2011 - 05:08 pm:

Have visited the Ford Historic Sawmill and it was a learning experience. Don't pass it by, stop in. As I remember, the wood siding on the old Ford station wagons was made there. A lot of history.

By Michael Du Long (Mikie) on Tuesday, September 20, 2011 - 06:13 pm:

My nephew took classes there in the nineties. Janie, we have cougars just south of us in Royal Oak Michigan. Tamer then the Ontnogin ones. They don't bother anyone. Spelling was on purpose. Mom always called it Ontnogin.

By kay Moore (Mskatie) on Tuesday, September 20, 2011 - 06:23 pm:

My mom called it Ontnogon too. But seems locals didn't always like that.

By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Tuesday, September 20, 2011 - 07:05 pm:

And here I thought it was "On da noggin'"! {grin}

By Diana P. (Diana) on Tuesday, September 20, 2011 - 07:49 pm:

Looking forward to taking my first grandchild to see the cougars ... and all the other animals ... at the Detroit Zoo in Royal Oak, Michigan in a few weeks. ;-)

By mickill mouse (Ram4) on Tuesday, September 20, 2011 - 08:14 pm:

The lions, at the Detroit Zoo, have a new enclosure. The moat is gone and a 17 or 18 foot clear, glass, wall- if you will, is there. Now a person can get up clse and personal with the lions. Since they removed the moat, it also gives the lions more room to roam.

By mickill mouse (Ram4) on Tuesday, September 20, 2011 - 08:19 pm:


You will have a great time taking your first grandchild to the zoo. The Artic Ring of Life for the polar bears is a blast, especially when they swim over your head. I always loved the reptile house and where all the butterflies are. You can sit in there and just let the butterflies land on you, it is fun.

By Janie T. (Bobbysgirl) on Tuesday, September 20, 2011 - 08:40 pm:

Mikie, are these cougars the 2 or 4 legged variety? :)b

By E. Neil Harri (Ilmayksi) on Tuesday, September 20, 2011 - 09:14 pm:

Don't forget to check out Dave Stimac'c birdseye connection wood products when you stop in Alberta. He is the caretaker there and a master craftsman.
His rocking chairs will become family heirlooms

By Alex "UP-Goldwinger" (Alex) on Tuesday, September 20, 2011 - 09:49 pm:

Very nice work Neil...truly a labor of love.

By Bob Jewell, Farmington Hills (Rjewell) on Tuesday, September 20, 2011 - 10:00 pm:

Diana P
I'm don't believe the Detroit zoo has any cougars. I think the only cougars you will see there are on film at the wild adventure ride.
They do have a lot of other interesting animals though and the gardens and flowers are worth the trip are the icing on the cake.
The recent dinosaurius exhibit was truly outstanding.

By Diana P. (Diana) on Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - 12:09 am:

To Mickill and Bob,
Thank you for the good information about the Detroit Zoo ... haven't been there in many many years ... sounds like lots of changes for the better! Can't wait to show my grandchild the polar bears ... they've always been my favorite animal there! :-)

By tom fisher (Osceola) on Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - 07:49 am:

if you go to google and search under "hull oakes lumber " it will pop up a link to a youtube video of the last commericial-sized, steam-operated mill in america, giving you a better idea of what the process was in alberta when it ran. note in the first few minutes of the film that the operators use hand signals almost exclusively. if you've ever been in a mill when it's going full out, the noise is overwhelming. note too, there's no computer-driven scanner for determining the optimum cut on the logs, just a well-trained eye with lots of experience. these guys can cut just about any length timber you need. in recent years they sent back east ( if memory serves ) an 80' piece as part of the reconstruction of "old ironsides". we used them in 2000 to provide us with 8" x 13" x 32' select-grade douglas fir for parts of the roof truss system in my building.

By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - 11:58 am:

Bob Jewell, Farmington Hills (Rjewell):
"… the Detroit zoo — The recent dinosaurius exhibit …"

Gee, they have their own Jurassic Park section these days? I really have been away too long, I never saw that one!

By Bob Jewell, Farmington Hills (Rjewell) on Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - 06:41 pm:

The zoo frequently has special exhibits. The had an exhibit of about 25 life size dinosaur models that ended in August. The exhibit was spectacular.

By Sheri (Sheri) on Thursday, September 22, 2011 - 07:04 am:

I have called it "Ontonagin" or some variation of that forever, just about the amount of time I've lived here. And so have most of the other long-time locals. In more recent years there seems to be more of a "nudge" to call it "Ontona-gon". Although Ontona-gone seems to be more like it lately!

Powered by:  
Join Today!
Each day the Pasty Cam has 2 areas to post messages: 
  • Cam Notes - comments related to today's picture and discussion
  • What'sUP - other topics, conversation and announcements
  • *** Please use the appropriate forum ***
    Here's a list of messages posted in the past 24 hours
    See our guest photo gallery for more great views from the U.P.

    Add a Message

    A user/password combination is now required to post messages to Cam Notes. Registration is free. Click here to register or maintain your I.D.

    Home | Pasty Cam | Contest | Order Now | Bridge Cam | Past-E-Mail | GP Hall of Fame | Making Pasties | Questions