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White County Residents Working To Save Historic Sawmill

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
White County Residents Working To Save Historic Sawmill

The White County Heritage Museum is working to preserve a historic local sawmill.

Museum Co-Director Peggy Hurteau said Rowland Saw Mill opened in the 1860s and was the first and only steam sawmill in Tennessee. She said the county has wanted to restore the mill since it closed in 2006 but has only recently started getting the money to do so through donations.

“We’ve been trying to get a grant but so far we haven’t succeeded in that,” Hurteau said. “But just recently we had two gentlemen that passed away here in White County, and their family chose to instead of flowers, make donations to restoring the sawmill.”

Hurteau said the buildings of the mill are in bad shape, and require a lot of work to fix. She said a small group of people have been put in charge of maintaining it so it does not collapse, but a lot more is needed for a full restoration.

“We’ve had a couple of estimates on what it would take to restore it, and we’re looking at maybe $50,000,” Hurteau said. “We’re trying to get a more recent one, and I’m sure it’ll be more than that.”

Hurteau said if the effort to restore the mill is successful, there is a plan to host events at the site to showcase the history of the mill and steam power. She said she got the idea from visiting Steam shows in Iowa.

“They’ll have steam engines, and they’ll have tractors, anything that runs on steam would be there on display,” Hurteau said. “Plus we would make sure the history was available.”

Hurteau said they are currently seeking grants, but donations are still the main source of funding for the project.


The post White County Residents Working To Save Historic Sawmill appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.