There were two men at work when I was there. They were just sitting waiting for the log finish through the sawing machine. We chatted for a quite some time. They told me some more about the sawmill and about the area around Sherbrooke. They were quite fun to talk to, but they were out to fool me! What better to do than fool a tourist, hahaha. Sorry guys, you didn't succeed! But I had a lot of fun talking to you!
When you stand a bit more close to the sawing machine you can feel the power generated by the water. The floor is moving on the rhythm of the saw, amazing what force a bit of water can create.
Schematic of power supply, and mechanism for operating log carriage and sawframe. A crank driven by the waterwheel is attached to the pitman which moves the sawframe up and down. The saw cuts on the downward stroke. The reciprocating motion of the sawframe activates the levers and ratchet gear which move the log carriage forward. (Illustration by Fred Scott)
In this picture you can see how the water flows to the watermill (click the picture to enlarge it and see the map). There is a dam in Sherbrooke lake and from there the water flows to the mill. In front of the mill you can see the pond. The water from the lake doesn't only flow to the mill but part of it also flows directly to the St. Mary river.
This is the pond in front of the sawmill. This is where the logs are waiting to go to the mill. You can see a little entrance in the mill where they tug the logs into the mill.
The waterwheel was spinning round and round.... I thought it went quite fast already. But it wasn't on top speed at all when I was there, because the water levels were too low. Now I wonder how fast it could go. That must be a fascinating thing to see.
This is actually the first thing you see when you go to the sawmill in Sherbrooke. It was raining a little bit when we got there, but it didn't bother me too much. I was just fascinated by this mill. I could hear the waterwheel turn around, the sound of the splashing of the water..... I stood on the little bridge for a while, looking where all the water came from and went to. And faintly I could hear how the machines where doing their job on the inside of the mill.
The McDonald Brothers'Sawmill lies where sawmills have stood since 1826. It is a fully operation reconstruction of a water-powered, up-and-down sawmill. During the time when water was the only efficient means of transportation and power, Sherbrooke was ideally located at the head of navigation on the St.Mary's River, which ran through vast acreage of timberland. Logs were transported in booms to the water powered mills then loaded onto sailing vessels built in Sherbrooke for the voyage to British markets.
The watermill is not in the museum of Sherbrooke, it is located just outside of the village. You can just go here and have a look around; the admittance is free. I really loved my visit to the saw mill. I even enjoyed it more than the visit to Sherbrooke Village
And when the sawing is done, the beams come out on the this side of the mill.
Now after having seen the schematic lets take a look at the real machines.
And this is the finished product.
I hope you enjoyed my tour through Sherbrooke Village and the sawmill.