|I found this place by accident one day; the area had chain link fences over the roads onto the property with cement blocks stating 'no trespassing'. The fence was in poor shape and broken on one side, getting in was as easy as walking in! The roadways to the barricade had 0 signs of human presence despite it being right off the moderately traveled highway. I walked to the largest standing building and was surprised at what I found. I took a few pics with my phone but decided to return another day with my 70D, and warmer clothes. I returned later that week, after class again. Thankfully the weather was nice for this time of year (0 C / 32 F) and I brought my gear with me to properly photograph this lumber mill.|
This property seemed to be a part of a larger nearby operation, and served as, what looked to be a large staging area. Unfortunately, the largest building on site was demolished (sometime between 2006 and 2012). However a few structures were spared from demolition on the large 500m by 500m (25 hectares, or 60+ acres) property. 90% of the property was timber storage, and roadways. I originally thought this was an OSB plywood mill, but I'm pretty sure it was a lumber mill.
(Photos taken January 19th 2017.)
Enjoy the photos!
Some sort of scaffolding with draw bridges, my guess it was for workers to un-strap loads of logs from logging trucks as the turned onto the property, to drop timber off.
Aspen growing through the staircase.
Draw bridge with pulley system.
View of the main building from the scaffolding.
Bunk house with washrooms, kitchen, briefing room, and an office.
Calendar in the bunk house.
The main buildings infeed point.
Chain conveyors that pull the logs into the mill.
The main buildings infeed point
The main buildings infeed point.
The blue conveyor (from the infeed stage) on the bottom left feeding the rest of the mill.
Dust removal belt underneath the chains.
Under the chain conveyors.
Conveyor to the outfeed stage, notice the great horned owl nest in the rafters.
This building felt very...temporary or portable, the walls were made of canvas/tarp material, likely a seasonal mill.
End of the chain conveyor.
Canvas/tarp material for walls.
Great horned owl nest.
The guillotine-like equipment was used in packaging lumber at the final stage of the mill.
The larger building that was demolished.
Cement walls, pillars, and piles are all that remain.
And we end with the land of living skies.
Overall a good location with almost zero vandalism. No barbed wire, or security, also relatively hidden from public eyes.
|Were there any recent signs of the owl? Or was the nest abandoned too? |
|Posted by SaladKing|
Were there any recent signs of the owl? Or was the nest abandoned too?
Great horned owls are nonmigratory, and seldom reuse a nest the next season, it looked like it was abandoned too.
|Love the pictures. Always nice when you can explore in the winter |
|I finally found some history about this sawmill.|
The buildings that were demolished were so between 2009 and 2012, after being closed in 2006. The mill went into operation in May of 1999, after 15 months of construction. The mill is 51% owned by a large nearby company, and the other 49% is owned jointly between 3 first nation groups. This $22.5 million sawmill was made to create jobs for aboriginal individuals, however only 18 of the 41 positions were filled by them, but all stakeholders were proud and happy about this partnership. Aboriginal casino profits helped the 3 first nation groups invest in the project.
A news report from the opening event in June quoted one of the chiefs: "The technology in use here today is the most modern there is in use in any sawmill"
The industry crashed in 2006, and employees lost their jobs. An Albertan firm from Edmonton purchased the lumber mills assets in October of 2009, which is when I presume the demolition took place. Leaving the mill in the state it's in today. It was only open for 7 years.
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